SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY — Legendary local resident the Headless Horseman, long believed to be retired, spoke to the media recently about his concerns that citizens’ heads have been exposed to COVID-19. Speaking with a heavy German accent, the Horseman explained, “2020 has been pretty rough, so I decided to cheer myself up by grabbing a few heads this Halloween. I was really creeped out, though, by all the people out there without face masks. It made me feel unsafe.”

Too close for comfort

The Horseman, who was interviewed over Zoom and spoke through a decaying jack-o-lantern, expressed his regret at not being able to secure a new head. “I rode out on Halloween night, thinking I would scare a few people, maybe snatch a head or two. I was looking for lonely, isolated travelers, which I thought would be easy due to the social distancing guidelines. But a whole bunch of people were hanging out in groups, hitting up the bars, or having crowded parties. I was scared to get close enough to decapitate anyone.”

The Headless Horseman has been unable to find a safe head to wear.

Citing increasingly high rates of COVID-19 transmission, the Horseman continued, “I like a Halloween bash as much as anyone, but have you seen the number of cases in New York state? Even the Van Tassels canceled their annual dance. Katrina loves to party, but she was smart enough to know better.”

Despite his desire for a new head, the Horseman was disgusted by local citizens’ lack of safety precautions. “If someone isn’t wearing a mask, there’s no way I’m taking that head,” he explained. “Who knows how many germs it was exposed to? That’s just nasty. People need to use common sense. I’ve been around for hundreds of years now by being responsible and using my head — well, you know what I mean.”

When asked about his future plans, the Horseman said that he planned to return to Hell for the time being, as he considers the current state of American life to be “too scary.”

About the Author

Kristin Cleaves writes horror and dark fiction. Her work has been published by Quill and Crow Publishing House, Ghost Orchid Press, Black Telephone Magazine, and more.

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