...a Hollow that never Sleeps...

*Across the swamp and into the Hollow the two companions drag their unconscious prisoner, along a worn path surrounded by twisted black trees that have long since shed their leaves. In the darkness, there is a quick stirring in the air as a cold breeze brought about by unnatural forces sweeps through the woods. Bones stops and looks to Liz'rd, who looks to him as well. Both communicate something simple through the glance, and know immediately that there is something wrong. They turn and look behind.*

*In the night air, atop a hill they had just descended, a silhouette of rider on horse is seen standing still as statue. Though the two are unable to make the rider's head out, the feel of its stare and pull of its will cannot be denied.*

[Bones] "Who goes there?? We know you follow us."

*The shapes shift only slightly as the steed stomps a foot on the ground and rears its head. The dark figures of rider on horse then solidify again and lay motionless for a time*

[Liz'rd] "Ssssshall we wait for him, or approacccchh"

[Bones] *quietly* "Turn and walk the path. Keep your hand on your sword and be at your ready"

*Bones and Liz'rd return to dragging their prisoner down the path, both now quite vigilant. It isn't until they round a bend by a patch of trees that they can feel it drawing near. Bones barks out a command, and he and Liz'rd jump to the sides of the road, waiting. The sounds of hoofs beating down upon earth become audible, and grow louder and louder as the rider approaches... until all at once, it stops. Bones makes some gestures to Liz'rd, and they both draw swords and walk quietly towards the bend they had just come around. Hiding behind cover of bush and tree, Liz'rd sneaks along and prepares to leap out and surprise this stalker. But it is not to be..*

*A horse whinnies loudly, shattering the peaceful abyss of the silent night air and drilling its coarse vibrations through the bodies of all living - and undead - creatures. Bones and Liz'rd turn quickly at the noise and realize they had underestimated the cleverness of this being. He had flanked them somehow and lay now ahead of them in the path, a few hundred paces or so. Bones holds up his sword and takes two steps towards the beast*

[Bones] "State your business, or be off with you!"

[Liz'rd] "..or come and fight if you wissssh. hehehe"

*Bones walks further towards the creature and sees now that the rider is missing something. A -- well, well -- its missing a head. Bones knew too well what that feeling was like*

[Bones] "Lost our head did we? I've been there.."

*Upon further examination, Bones sees the man hadn't exactly LOST his head, but it just happened to not be in the right place. Resting on the front of the saddle that the rider is straddling, an ugly grim face stares out into nothingness. The headless horseman raises his arm and points out through gauntlet covered fingers to the body of ShoeHorn, who lay across the road from them. Bones looks over and sees the barb, now waking from his slumber.. mumbling something about sweet Ginny and her cookies. The barbarian spots the horseman a minute later and then frantically struggles to break free of his binds."

[ShoeHorn] "What the?! Where am I.. Hey, get me out of these!!"

*With some effort, he is able to get to his feet and tries his best to hop away, but the Headless Horseman had already lifted his own head from its perch on the saddle and positions himself to throw it at the hopping barb. Bones and Liz'rd had crossed the road by then and quickly approach ShoeHorn as he attempts an escape. Liz'rd catches up and leaps toward ShoeHorn, just as the Horseman releases his head hurtling toward 'the Beast'. Liz'rd manages to tackle the barb to the ground, and in the same instant, the head which had been tossed smashes against a nearby tree, narrowly missing the head it was meant to strike.*

*Bones looks down to where the head landed, and becomes somewhat confused. Surely he had seen right. But why now is there a crushed pumpkin at the foot of this tree where there should be a head. He looks back to the horseman. Again, he sees the head upon the pommel of the saddle - the same head that was just thrown at them.*

[Bones] "What.. what are you?"

*The rider reaches for the head again, but this time Bones rushes him and the Horseman instead pulls a blade out and holds it towards the skeleton, as his steed moves laterally. Bones slows and stops ten paces in front of him and after a time sizing the creature up, attempts conversation*

[Bones] "Listen.. we were once like you.. called upon by some powerful force... to do its bidding.."

*Liz'rd struggles to control ShoeHorn, urging him to stay still. The horseman and Bones circle each other with swords drawn and pointed at one another*

[Bones] "..but we saw through its madness in the end, and broke free of it. You too can break free. I can sense this supernatural force which guides your actions, I know its strong - but you can fight it!"

*The horse rears and lifts its front hooves, whinnies cold and loudly, and stomps them back down with a snort. It knows the rider is confused and wishes to refocus him on his mission, while keeping this intruder at bay.*

[Bones] *drawing back from the horse as it kicks out* "I am Bones.. who is it I---"

*Just then the eyes on the head mounted upon the saddle widen and look upon the skeleton. Its lips move, and a ghostly hollow voice breathes death into the air*

[Horseman] "Booonnnessss..... Brrrrommmm Boooonnnnessss?!"

[Bones] "hmm.. thats the second time someones confused me wit--"

*The Horseman quickly snaps its gloved fingers and a distant thundering of hooves is heard racing toward them. Bones turns and sees another horse, galloping recklessly in his direction and fast approaching him. He leaps out of its way, but futile is his action as it stops, an arms length away, kicking up dirt. It then casually turns itself the other way, hoofs clopping down into earth. The Horseman points to the horse, and speaks once more.. with more breath than sound*

[Horseman] "Daaare...devvvillll"

[Bones] "I see. You want me to mount this horse?"

[Horseman] "cchhhaaaalllenngge"

[Bones] "Hmm. A race? Well, if it will win me counsel with you, I shall accept. Liz'rd, follow behind us"

*Bones mounts the horse, which seems to be a bit disturbed by the contact with this creature made entirely of bone. Brom, he becomes, as he slides feet into stirrups and grabs the reins. He looks to the Headless Horseman, who moves up in line with Daredevil, and raises his arm. The head on the saddle turns and winks at Bones before letting out a terrible ghostly laugh. The arm swings down, and Bones and the Horseman kick fast to their horses and are off swiftly into the night. Liz'rd and ShoeHorn follow, Shoe now kept in line by the wand Liz'rd holds at his back*

[p.s. Anyone interested in rereading the original short story "Sleepy Hollow", check out http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/41. Might clear up a bit of confusion, as the movie versions portray things a bit differently]