Slight change of plans; the character post will be doubled-up with the flash fic on Friday.
For now, enjoy the first two chapters of The Spy From Sleepy Hollow, a retelling/mashup of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Beauty & The Beast set during the American Revolution.
(This story is also being posted on Wattpad)
.New York countryside, United States
October 29, 1776
He should have known. He should have been more observant. Why would she have wanted to marry him anyway? He was only a schoolteacher.
A poor schoolteacher. He couldn’t have given her a life even if she had said yes. Even if she had loved him, like he thought she had.
Isaac groaned and slapped his forehead. He grabbed his tricorne hat by the brim and ran his other hand through his thick dark hair, mussing it.
He sighed and looked up. “Just my luck,” he said to no one in particular. Misinterpreting what a woman says. And making her cry too. Why can’t I ever get these things right?”
Of course, he would never know the answer. He placed his hat back on his head and took a left at the fork in the road.
His horse abruptly stopped in its’ tracks, ears perked forward.
Isaac frowned and tilted his head. “What’s the matter, boy? Catch a rock in your shoe again?”
He dismounted and lifted the horse’s left front leg. The animal jumped sideways, jerking its’ leg away from him. Its’ ears were set in a way that denoted fear, and as he tried to calm it, he caught a flash of orange in the corner of his eye.
He looked. Stared, gap-mouthed at the rider in the distance who held a lantern up to where his head should have been.
A rider without a head.
His horse neighed, still intent on shying away from the sight. Without warning, the rider spurred his own horse into action, and the black beast, larger than Isaac’s, barreled towards them.
Isaac gathered his wits in time to grab onto his horse as it started to run, and swung his lanky legs over the saddle.
Oh, how he wished he had stayed at the inn instead of leaving! Curse my luck all around, I have to be the stupidest man alive.
Heart pounding in his ears, he urged his horse on. Behind him, the hoofbeats grew louder.
Soon, through the darkness of the forest, he spied a bridge over a stream, awash with light from the full moon overhead. And if he wasn’t mistaken, there looked to be a town not so far from it.
He couldn’t help a small laugh. If he crossed that bridge, he would raise a ruckus and scare the headless rider off.
But mere steps from it, the rider appeared in front of him. Isaac’s horse reared, sending him to the ground. It ran off, leaving him to deal with whoever or whatever it was in front of him.
The rider dismounted and started to approach, drawing a saber in the process. His whole body shaking with fright, Isaac scrambled backward until he hit a tree.
Even as he did so, he noticed the rider’s posture to be somewhat familiar. It couldn’t be who he was now thinking it was, playing a prank on him.
The saber came for his throat. He shut his hazel eyes and said a prayer, certain this was his last night on Earth.
©H.S. Kylian 2019
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)