"You know", she addressed the girl, "what I told you in the windmill was all perfectly true. I raised the Hessian from the grave to avenge me and my family. I governed him, and I still do, but not through his skull. Do you think I would have brought it with me if that were the case?"
They obviously did. "Well, if it's not the skull, what the heck is it then?"
She sighed, rolling her eyes. How stupid could people be?

"Typical. Whenever death is somehow involved, people keep looking for macabre objects that they consider the key to everything. Vampires are banned by a crucifix, werewolves are killed by silver orbs, and of course Headless Horsemen are controlled by their heads.
Did you ever try to control a dead person by taking its skull and giving it orders?" Their appalled faces were answer enough to her. "Of course not. Why would you? Nothing would happen, because you never learned how to control the dead. You never learned how to control powers that go beyond your imagination, small as it may be."
She paused to give them time to think about what she had said before they finally admitted that they did not understand it.

"So why did you take the head in the first place?" After a considerably long time, the brat had finally spoken up. With the most predictable and the stupidest question ever. She resisted the urge to sigh and massage her temples with her long, white fingers. "Did the Headless Horseman scare you?" They nodded in unison. "Would you have been scared by a non-Headless Horseman?" Again they nodded. "And what would have scared you more?"
Timidly, the boy piped up. "Erm, a Headless Horseman?"
"Exactly. I simply took the head because it made the Hessian look more scary, and because I liked the symbolism of a Headless beheading my enemies. The Horseman I control through incantations and spells."

"Ma'am, may I ask something?", the boy whispered. She nodded. "Fire away, dear."
"Why did you not kill Katrina when you had her captured in the windmill? Why did you wait and risk us freeing her?"

She smiled. "Finally someone who shows signs of intelligence. I did not kill her right away, y dear, because I knew she would lure you two to me. I wanted to see you all die in one stroke." She waved her hand nonchalantly. "Oh, and I wanted to see her suffer, but I guess that was clear from the beginning. Besides, I had this whole tree-hiding-thing planned very carefully. I knew you would be too shocked to run or fight after seeing me 'return from the dead', so I was not really taking any chances.

"And now, as my story is at an end, so are your lives.
Farewell, dear friends! I will not miss you!"

When the Hessian raised his sword to complete her revenge, fear wrenched every line of their faces. It was wonderful. At the very last moment, the Constable shouted. "Wait!" The Hessian stopped in mid-movement. She looked at him with the expression of someone whose patience was quickly reaching its end. "What?"
"Won't you at least give us a small chance to free ourselves?"

She pretended to think very hard. "I think … not."

The Constable did not seem satisfied with her response. "But -" He never came any further. The Hessian's sword flew through the air and cut his head off in mid-sentence. It rolled over the ground, coming to a halt directly in front of her feet. The other two's cries of horror were quickly silenced by death as well.

For a long time, she simply stood, looking at the three headless bodies in front of her, before slowly, very slowly, a smile crept onto her face.

She was free.

A/N: So that was that. Sorry to all those who had hoped that Ichabod would somehow weasel them out of the situation. Hope it wasn't too stupid. R&R please!