A new series of grisly deaths in Sleepy Hollow attract Ichabod Crane to face his fears. Only this time, the Horseman wants to confront the constable himself in battle.
He was running through the western woods. Seemed to be consuming him these days, replacing his usual constable bravery with fear. While being so immersed in his flight, Ichabod failed to notice a rather strange-looking tree in front of him until he nearly ran into it. Yelping, he screeched to a halt, staring at the long-dead plant that twisted eerily toward the sky, appearing as though it were trying to rip itself from the ground. Tangled roots suddenly waved in the air amid the tempest that sprang into being. Lightning illuminated the forest, revealing a gaping hole in the tree's trunk. Hoofbeats sounded above the crashing thunder, jogging the constable's memory.
'This is the Tree of the Dead! A poor fool must've found the Horseman's head--again--and summoned him from Hell to kill people!'
In a flurry of movement, the Horseman galloped forth, but he was not as headless as Ichabod had thought. Filed teeth bared in a snarl, the Hessian charged toward the frozen constable, broadsword poised to strike. Uttering an inhuman roar, he swung the blade, its keen edge rushing to meet his prey's neck....
Screaming, Ichabod Crane shot upright, his trembling body coated with a cold sweat. Wincing, he touched the scar where the Horseman's sword had stabbed him, faint pain radiating along his frame. Calculating the amount of sun streaming into the room, the constable guessed it was early afternoon and crawled out of bed. Going over to the window, Ichabod was sure he heard the whinny of a horse, then dismissed it as a fleeting fancy.
"Ichabod, come quickly! Policemen that work in Sleepy Hollow are looking for you!"
The very mention of Sleepy Hollow sent shivers down the constable's spine. Gulping, he strode out of the house to where Katrina and two uniformed men stood. "Ah, gentlemen, a pleasure. What, pray tell, brings you to this quiet village east of Sleepy Hollow?" Don't say people minus their heads. Please don't say that!
"Nine civilians have recently been discovered dead without their heads attatched," the older policeman answered, surprised by Ichabod's reaction: a near faint. "Surely you don't think he has returned? It has been two years, for pity's sake!"
"Only takes one trip to find the Hessian's grave and the Tree of the Dead," the constable muttered, goosebumps prickling his flesh. "He cannot control what goes on outside the tree, thus he has no protection. Anyone could have stolen the skull to enact revenge." Pursing his lips, Ichabod paced back and forth, brow furrowed in concentration. Whirling, he confronted the two policemen. "Find yourselves someone else. I am not going through that nightmare a second time."
"You don't really have a choice, Mr. Crane," the younger policeman declared, flourishing a paper. "This was discovered nailed to the inn door where you stayed before. It says 'Bring me Ichabod Crane and the killings will cease. You have one week to comply or Sleepy Hollow will be destroyed, along with its neighboring villages.' Signed, the Hessian."
"Me?" Ichabod squeaked loudly."Why does the Horseman want me? I--Of course! He wants to finish me off. That sword to the shoulder was his way of marking me. P--perhaps no one is controlling the Horseman. All right, I'll go to Sleepy Hollow and face my fears." Fetching his horse, the constable gathered his tools, and was shocked by Katrina jumping into the saddle behinfd him. "Very well, we shall both go." Kicking the animal's flanks, they cantered from the village in the direction of Sleepy Hollow. I hope I'm wrong and it's just some idiots pulling a prank.