A Legend Revisited

Image by Filip Zrnzević

“Hey Brom, is he gone?” called a slack jawed Heinrich

Brom pulled the pumpkin from his head and with a grin every bit as evil as the one carved into it said, “Oh he’s gone alright. And we won’t be seeing much of him in Sleepy Hollow again, I’ll wager.”

Heinrich wiped snot from his nose. “You even scared me a little bit with that get up. How did you make that noise?”

“Noise?”

“You know, that screechy, screaming noise. That’s what made ol’ Ichabod turn tail and run like a scalded hound.”

Brom’s grin evaporated. “I didn’t make any noise.”

“Now, stop it, Brom. You’re scaring me now.” At that moment a blood-curdling shriek pierced the silence of the woods, a shriek that did not come from Brom. It was Brom’s turn to go slack jawed.

By the time the shriek ended, Heinrich was screaming with it. “It’s him, Brom, it’s him! The Hessian! He’s come for us. We shoulda never tried to fool that old school teacher with those stories. We done conjured him up!”

Brom straightened his posture and pushed out his chest. He tightened his jaw. “Nonsense! You made him up. You told me yourself.”

Heinrich cowered behind Brom. “The thing is, I kinda didn’t make him up. He’s from an old story that Papa used to tell us around the fire on cold nights. I never thought he was real. Till now, that is.”

Brom turned and lifted Heinrich by the collar of his shirt. “Stand up and be a man, you sniveling coward. There is no Hessian. It was probably just an owl or something.”

Heinrich spun around and looked behind them. “B-B-Brom?”

“What now?” Brom replied, too frustrated to turn around.

“Uh, if there ain’t no Hessian, then what is that?”

Another cry pierced the forest as a horse leapt from the woods, a headless figure perched in the saddle. The spectre raised its sabre and separated both Brom and Heinrich from their skulls in one mighty swing.

Master Crane closed his book. “And that, children, concludes the story of the Headless Horseman.”

One young boy’s hand shot up. “But Master Crane,” he called. “What happened to the Hessian?”

With an impudent grin, Master Crane replied, “Hessian? What Hessian?”

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