The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

February 21, 2012
Long ago, there was a village known as the quietest place on earth. It was just east of the Hudson River. For as long as anyone could remember, it was called Sleepy Hollow. The people who lived in Sleepy Hollow were very strange. They could hear voices and see strange things. It was known all over that Sleepy Hollow was haunted.

The main reason people thought Sleepy Hollow was haunted was because of stories of a man with no head, riding around on a demonic horse. Nobody really knew if the so called “Headless Horseman” was real or not, but there were many stories about him. People would say that he was a soldier, decapitated in battle, and buried in the churchyard.

Okay, know that that background information is over, we can move on with the story. Here we go...

There once was a man named Ichabod Crane. He was a schoolteacher, the only one in Sleepy Hollow. He taught in a schoolhouse that stood at the foot of a hill. Ichabod was very tall, and some of his students thought that his arms and legs were too big for his body.

Ichabod loved all scary things, which is probably the reason he lived in Sleepy Hollow. In his spare time, he would stretch out by a glistening blue-green lake, and read scary stories. A bit like this one, eh? There was only one thing Ichabod loved more than scary things, and that was a young lady named Katrina Van Tussel. Everyone in Sleepy Hollow knew here for her beauty.

Ichabod loved Katrina very much, but was afraid to tell her how he felt. Why? Because of a man by the name of Brom Bones. Yes, his name really was Brom Bones. What? This is fiction, people can be named anything the author wants them to be. Take Katrina Van Tussel for example. I mean, Van Tussel? Van Tussel? Anyway, I’m getting carried away. Okay, where were we? Oh, yes, Brom Bones. Brom Bones was bigger, tougher, and stronger than Ichabod. Every woman in Sleepy Hollow would swoon over his good looks. Not to mention his excellent horsemanship.

Katrina did show interest in Brom, but Ichabod would not give up. He began to attract her by visiting her daily and taking her on walks in the moonlight. Katrina began to fall in love with Ichabod and not Brom. Brom became jealous and angry that Katrina would chose Ichabod over him. So, Brom did what every other jealous person would do. He played practical jokes on Ichabod. Yeah, real mature Brom. Whenever Ichabod and Katrina were together, Brom would stop at nothing to make Ichabod look completely stupid.

One Autumn afternoon, Ichabod received a message while he was teaching. It was an invitation to a party at the Van Tussel’s house. You know, Katrina? Katrina Van Tussel? The person whom Ichabod is in love with? Yeah, her. Well, Ichabod knew this was his chance to finally get Katrina to completely forget about Brom. “Katrina will forget that she ever met that stupid Brom Bones!” Ichabod cried out in front of his class. Ichabod needed to get ready for the party so he let his students leave class an hour early.

Ichabod bathed, put on his best suit, and combed his hair. “Perfect!” he said, looking at himself in a mirror. “Now, all I need is a fancy horse to ride to the party.” But, the only horse he could find was an old, worn out plow horse with a tangled mane.

After a while of riding, he finally reached the Van Tussel residence. He hitched up his horse and walked down the dirt path to the door. Ichabod was confident that tonight would be the night that he swept Katrina off her feet. He walked in to the manor and immediately his shoulders drooped. He saw his rival, Brom Bones, talking to some other guests in a corner. Among those people he saw Katrina, laughing with Brom. “What can I do?” Ichabod thought. “Aha! I’ll wait for the next song to play, then ask her to dance!”

The next song started to play. It was slow and sweet. “Perfect.” Ichabod thought with a grin. He walked over to Katrina and said, “May I have this dance?”

“Of course, Ichabod.” Katrina replied.

Brom Just stood there, in the corner, watching as Katrina and Ichabod danced and had a great time. After the dance, Ichabod talked with some guests. They told tales of the Headless Horseman. You remember, the guy without the head, the one who roams around Sleepy Hollow at night. Come on, I brought it up at the very beginning of the story! Alright then, some of the guests said that the Horseman had been prowling the graveyard more often than usual lately. Ichabod became frightened. He would have to cross the graveyard to get back home. He thought of asking Katrina if he could stay here over night, but no. He couldn’t. If he did Katrina would think he was a coward. He finally decided to be brave and ride home anyway. That turned out to be the worst mistake of his life.

It was around midnight when the party ended. Ichabod said goodnight, then walked to get his horse. But, alas, he must not of hitched it right, for the horse was nowhere in sight. “Oh, boy, this is just great.” Ichabod thought. He began walking the long walk home, through the cold, dark night.

After a while of walking, a thick fog settled. Ichabod could barely see two feet in front of his face, and he still had a long way to go. Finally, he reached the graveyard. It was eerily quiet. Not one sound was heard, except for his footsteps in the dirt. “Crunch, crunch, crunch.” The fog was getting thicker and thicker, and Ichabod was getting more and more nervous. He began to whistle, to keep his spirits up. “Crunch, crunch, crunch.” Ichabod’s footsteps continued. “Thump! Thump! Thump!” Ichabod spun around, for he heard the footsteps of a horse. He looked around, heart pounding, but did not see anything. He continued walking, but a little bit faster than usual. Gravestones were littered everywhere, and Ichabod had to walk slower to avoid them. “Thump! Thump! Thump!” There they where again! Ichabod did not want to take any chances, so he burst into a full-on sprint.

He jumped, spun, and moved left and right to avoid the oncoming graves. But, he did not notice one grave. He tripped over it and fell face first into the ground. “Thump! Thump! Thump!” The horse footsteps were louder than ever. Ichabod thought quickly and hid behind a gravestone.

The horse footsteps were right on top of him now. All Ichabod could do was curl up behind a gravestone and pray. Then, through the fog, he saw the silhouette of a horse. It galloped toward him. “This is the end!” Ichabod thought. “The Horseman is going to kill me for sure!”
Ichabod prepared for the worst as the horse drew nearer and nearer. Finally, it ran up to him. “Please spare me!” Ichabod shrieked. There was no reply. Ichabod finally got the nerves to look up. And there, standing over him was... his horse! It was only the horse he thought he lost! Ichabod sighed. “What a relief!” Ichabod got up on the horse and started riding home. The End.
Okay, okay. That wasn’t the end. But I’m afraid to tell you what happens next. Its a bit gruesome. Whats that? You don’t really care? Okay then, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ichabod started for home, feeling better than ever. “Ha! There’s no Headless Horseman after all! I knew it!” Ichabod said, joyfully.
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.” Said a muffled, demonic voice.
Ichabod stopped, cold. He swallowed hard, then slowly looked back. He saw it. The Headless Horseman. It was riding a horse, black as the night sky. It wore a black suit, similar to what Ichabod was wearing. Its hands were as grey as a storm cloud. And in its hand was a head! It was holding the head by its hair, which was long and black. The face seemed to be rotting, with one eyeball missing.
“This head is a little to big for my tastes,” the Horseman said. “But yours looks just right! Ah Ha Ha!” The Horseman drew his sword with his free hand and told his horse to charge. Without a moment to loose, Ichabod ducked right as the Horseman swung his sword. “Ya! Go Horse Go!” Ichabod yelled. Ichabod’s horse galloped away, but the Horseman was not far behind.
The Horseman was gaining, his horse being much faster than Ichabod’s. The Horseman sheathed his sword, which came to a shock to Ichabod. “Has he given up?” He thought. Just then a fireball flew right past Ichabod’s head. It slammed into a tree and immediately the tree caught fire. “Fireballs? He can shoot fireballs?” Ichabod yelled. More fireballs came hurling past, barely missing Ichabod. Soon the whole forest would catch fire!
Ichabod swerved left and right, avoiding the fire. But, one fireball landed right in front of Ichabod’s horse. The horse stopped and bucked frantically. The Headless Horseman was very close now. Ichabod jumped off the horse and started running, though he knew it was over. The Horseman pulled out his sword and angled it directly towards Ichabod’s head. “No!” Ichabod screamed.
Ichabod wasn’t at the school the next day. Not the next day, either. After not seeing Ichabod for three days, the residents of Sleepy Hollow started looking for him. They searched high and low, but found only one thing. The limp, dead body of Ichabod Crane lay on the dirt path in the middle of the graveyard. And it was without a head.

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