Constable Ichabod Crane
"You must be Mr. Crane."
"Constable Ichabod Crane. I've come from New York to investigate the crimes of Sleepy Hollow."
It was a typical November morning. The cell in which I had already been for two days was cold and dark. The young man standing in front of me was giving me an inquisitive look. His eyes were as dark as two pieces of coal and his brown hair was disheveled. His features harbored distrust and inexperience, I thought he did not seem the right man to solve the terrible deaths that had happened, much less to save me from the fire. I stood quietly waiting for his questions.
"You are, Lenore Madsen, the only suspected of initiating the massacre in Sleepy Hollow." He said with a firm voice.
"Tell me, Mr. Crane, do you believe in witchcraft?" I whispered weakly.
The man rolled his eyes and his face turn into a grimace of irony.
"Of course I do not. It's silly to think that certain "spells" certain "charms"… that the so-called "magic" exist. I am a man of science. I trust in reason and sense. "
I giggled to hear such an assortment of arguments coming from this young pale and thin man. It made me think that maybe this "investigator" was worth of trust.
"It was the Horseman." I said without taking my eyes from his. He just smiled and moved closer to me.
"What's wrong with you people? Why you all believe in something so utterly illogical? A ghost, the cause of all these murders ..."
"It's true," I simply said. "The Headless Horseman is the murderer ..."
"The murderer is a man of flesh and bone and I will discover him."
I sighed hopeless and turned my gaze to the barred window. Outside it looked like the sun was breaking through the fog. Suddenly we could hear a gunshot and a scream:
"MURDER! THE HORSMAN'S KILLED AGAIN!"
I turned my head scared waiting to see the reaction of Crane and saw that he was paralyzed. His eyes were fixed on the window and his hands were trembling slightly.
"What are you waiting for?" I said waving a hand urging him. "Go there now!"
He seemed to react. He turned his back and was about to leave when he looked back at me and said:
"I really doubt that you are behind this."
I was relieved to hear those words. At least I was not suspicious in the eyes of good justice.
"Unfortunately," he continued "The objects found in your room give sufficient testimony that you practice witchcraft, and against those proofs I can do nothing. Your life depends on the will of the people. Have a nice day." And with that he left.
"DAMN!" I shouted while I hit my fist against the hard stone wall. I rested my forehead against it. How in hell I got into here?
Mary Van Tassel walked purposefully towards the woods while I was following her with shaky steps.
"How can you even remember where it is?" I asked wearily. "You were a child when it happened."
Mary stopped and her face darkened. Suddenly I felt I was in terrible danger and I regretted having followed her till here. But it was only a second and she became herself again.
"I still remember. Just follow me."
We went through a path covered with leaves and the trees were moving with the wind. Everything seemed so unreal. My dress kept getting entangled with weeds and it seemed that all the insects in the world wanted to climb on my head. Mary meanwhile moved gracefully through the woods as if she knew which place should put her feet to avoid tripping and she never took his eyes away from the path as if she had gone through that direction a million times. After several minutes we finally reached a clearing. I recognized it immediately. Here I had heard the voices 20 years earlier. But now I heard nothing. Nothing, the insects went away and trees were motionless. Everything seemed to be in silence like if the woods were dead. Then I saw it. A huge tree, twisted towered over the others. The aura around it was sinister and I stared at it open-mouthed. This tree was not there before but somehow it looked familiar to me. That site was evil and I just wanted to get away from there but my legs did not respond I felt my body froze and began to tremble with fear.
"But what are you waiting for? Come here!" The voice of Mary Van Tassel awakens me from that state of fear. Mary had climbed on the huge tree roots and was calling me with an impatient gesture of her hand, I could finally move my legs and I went slowly and shakily to her. There it was. Klaus's sword was stuck in the ground and there was a dying vine around it. It no longer had the shine it had before and snake-like handle was damaged by time. I stared and I inadvertently began to cry. No sobbing or sighing, just heavy tears rolled down my cheeks without stopping. And I did nothing to prevent them. After a while my old legs could not resist more and I collapsed on the ground. I fell to my knees in front of the elderly sword and could only think of Klaus. It had been many years and now his memory back to haunt me but I wasn't able to hate him. I just couldn't.
"Touch the sword." Her voice was so rough and dry that obeyed her immediately. My fingers approached the sword and for a moment I felt young again, I felt all the love I had for him. All memories of when we were together came back. I slid my hand gently along it and suddenly happened: A deep cut and blood flowing freely. The instant the drops of blood hit the ground something miraculous occurred. The tree began to move, to sway from side to side slowly, the roots started to have a pulse as if the giant tree abruptly turn back to life and an icy wind made both of us shudder. I had no idea what was happening I looked back to Mary waiting to see in her eyes the same horror that I was feeling but to my surprise she was smiling, almost laughing at what was going on.
She turned her gaze to me; she took her handkerchief and wrapped it around my wounded hand trying to hide her smile.
"Shh… It's over. Nothing happened. You see? The tree does not move anymore." Her voice was sweet and motherly again. She helped me to stand up and gave me a little push to leave the place quickly but my feet were caught by the weeds and I'm almost fell flat on the ground.
"Shit! Let her go stupid tree!"
"Mary you're talking to a tree ..." I thought she had gone mad. I simply had tangled myself with the ivy but she blamed the tree. Mary did not answer. She pulled out a knife from her bag and cut the weeds herself but to my surprise when I was trying to step over the plant seemed to grow out of nowhere and wrapped my foot in a second.
"For God's sake! We'll be here the whole day!"
"What the hell is going on?" I asked her. The cold was getting inside my lungs and was hard to breath.
"You just shut up and try to move as fast as possible. I'll go cutting the damned weeds. "
Two hours later I could finally release from the tree and I fell exhausted on the ground. Mary sat beside me and chuckled.
"It wanted you stay with it." She said still laughing.
"This is pure madness." I said. "Are you going to tell me what is going on?"
Mary put on a grim expression and looked me straight in the eye.
"You know it. You've been here before, isn't that true?"
And I remembered it: The dream, the prophecy. I could remember what the voices had said.
"The Death Demon, The Seed of evil." I muttered.
"The Horseman bathed in Blood." Mary continued. "We must break the curse that hangs over him. Would you help me? "
"It's my responsibility." I answered.
Her face lit up again and she put her hands together in a gesture of satisfaction.
"We will return tomorrow night. I'm going to introduce you my sister, you could learn a lot from her. "
"Klaus ... What can I do to stop you."
Even with my head against the wall I could hear the weeping women who were crying for a new dead and a new name: Jonathan Masbath.
I could not control myself anymore. I started sobbing and hit the wall with more strength until I got exhausted and fell asleep.