How Are You Doing Out There, Sleepy Hollow?

Submitted into Contest #165 in response to: Write a story about a corrupt politician trying to avoid blame at all costs.... view prompt

29 comments

American Historical Fiction Horror

Look at all these friendly faces out in the crowd!


You know, some politicians hate campaigning, but not me. No sir, not me. I love a good campaign. I love seeing democracy in action. I love shaking the hands. I love kissing the babies. I love eating all those deep-fried butter sticks you all keep cooking up. I cannot believe how many things you can deep-fry these days. Will the wonders of America ever cease?


Now, as much as I’d like to stand up here and pretend everything is right as rain at the Annual Sleepy Hollow Fair and Horse Pageant, we all know that simply isn’t true.


My opponent has been slinging some pretty serious allegations in my general direction. He’s been saying I’m a crook and a coward and everything but a child of God.


You all know me here. I grew up in Sleepy Hollow after all. So you know I am not one to get in the mud when all you’ll find there is pigs, but this time, folks, I simply cannot bite my tongue.


The latest accusation against me is that I am in cahoots with the Headless Horseman. It has been suggested--nay, declared--that I am in business with the supernatural madman who has been terrorizing our beautiful town for over a century.


First off, I have no idea how in the world I could be in business with a headless man. Could I do business with somebody missing an ear? Sure. A toe? Why not? A pancreas? It would be difficult, but I’m sure I could manage it. My friends and neighbors, there is no way to come up with any kind of business arrangement with a person who cannot see, hear, talk, or smell. It simply isn’t possible.


Also, as many of you may know, I’m allergic to pumpkins. I’ve been allergic my whole life. If I even go near a pumpkin, a rash breaks out all over my face that looks like the state of West Virginia. Not the rash you see on my face now, of course. That is clearly a rash shaped like South Carolina. Two different rashes. This one is from a sourdough bread I sampled earlier at Mrs. Ludvenko’s marvelous breadstand not realizing that I am also allergic to sourdough. You learn something new everyday, folks, isn’t that right? Stay in school, kids. Learning is earning. Education is elevation. Teachers are…They’re great. We love our teachers. We’re going to have that union contract all done any day now.


Now I don’t want to bring family into this, but I’m sure many of you are aware that my Great-Great-Great Uncle twice removed was killed by a Hessian. A Hessian just like the Headless Horseman. If you think, I would actually get myself tangled up with the kind of ilk that cost my poor Great-Great-Great Uncle his life, then you do not know your four-time Mayor one bit. I hate Hessians. Can’t stand them. If you were to drop me out of a plane into Hessia right now, I guarantee you, I would burn that whole country to the ground. Country or island. Whichever it is. I went looking for a map, but wouldn’t you know, most of the stores in town don’t have them. Then again, most of the stores in town are closed. Tough economy right now. We’re going to fix that though, aren’t we? That pesky Horseman sure is keeping all the tourists at bay, but once we take care of him, you’ll see them all flooding back.


I know what some of you are thinking.


Mayor B, you’re thinking, You’ve been promising year after year that you’re going to take care of this Headless Horseman and you never do!


Need I remind some of you that ridding specters from a town is not as simple as snapping your fingers or tap dancing like a frog in a top hat? You have to have patience. You have to be diligent. You have to stay two miles ahead of the Horseman and get to that bridge before he hurls that flaming pumpkin of his at you. You think my opponent can manage all that? No!


Why do you think everybody who runs against me ends up missing? Because as soon as they announce their candidacy, the Horseman goes chasing them down to prove his point. And what is that point, you may ask? The point is--I’m the only one who can survive a tussle with him.


Now, my current foe may want you to think that all of that is planned out ahead of time. That me and the Horseman worked out a deal wherein he keeps scaring you all and I keep getting reelected, but that just isn’t true. If I wanted to scare you all, I could just get dressed up like a clown and wander through town every night knocking on windows and tying red balloons to your door knobs.


I realize that did happen last year, but that was not me. I was just using that as an example of something I could do. Besides, it turns out many of you aren’t even scared of clowns. Your kids loved those red balloons, didn’t they? So, in a way, if I did dress up like a clown trying to frighten you, you’d actually have to thank me, wouldn’t you? Not that you have to, because I didn’t, but if I did, you're welcome.


After I am reelected, I am confident that this year will be the year we rid ourselves of the scourge that has plagued us since the days of Ichabod Crane. My Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaddy Brom Bones was a good friend to Ichabod and dedicated his life to tracking down and eliminating the Headless Horseman. While he may not have succeeded, he laid the groundwork for me, his descendant, to carry on that fight and see it through to victory.


In the meantime, you would all be well-advised to beware people speaking ill of your best protector against the nemesis we all face each time we leave the house at night. Without me, I can’t say it would ever be safe to live in Sleepy Hollow again. We wouldn’t want that, would we?


Look at all those terror-stricken faces of yours staring back at me knowing I’m going to do everything in my power to keep you preserved for as long as I have breath.


Why, it warms my heart. Truly, it does.


Now--let’s go fry up some more butter.

September 23, 2022 19:38

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29 comments

01:44 Oct 06, 2022

Oh my! The perfect snake oil salesman. Now, what really happened to the political opponents?

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Story Time
16:51 Oct 06, 2022

Anyone's guess, Christine ;)

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23:17 Oct 05, 2022

That guy has my vote, lol. Great story, this was a very creative approach to the prompt, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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Story Time
16:51 Oct 06, 2022

Thanks so much, Frederic!

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22:40 Oct 10, 2022

No problem!

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Anne O
16:34 Oct 05, 2022

This was an amazing piece! So creative and well thought out. I loved his tangents he would go on during his speech, teachers and eduction, the economy -- spoken like a true politician! He was working on a solution for everything. Very well done. I enjoyed reading this a lot.

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Story Time
17:56 Oct 05, 2022

Thank you so much, Anne!

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Marty B
05:46 Oct 04, 2022

I want some deep-fried butter sticks! The clown with the red ballons was a nice touch. I have to say compared to some real-life politicians, Brom Bones VI isnt too bad-

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Story Time
16:36 Oct 04, 2022

Thank you, Marty!

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Maria Alexandra
21:44 Oct 03, 2022

This was very funny! Loved the beginning, and the rash bit! And the clown bit! I haven't read any other of your stories (yet) but you're quite imaginative :D

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Story Time
02:12 Oct 04, 2022

Thank you very much!

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Mary Lehnert
23:22 Sep 30, 2022

What a pleasure to read your humorous essays, Kevin. Our colleagues write so well, but sometimes so gloomy. Please keep on writing. You get my vote every time. Thankyou

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Story Time
00:52 Oct 01, 2022

Thank you so much, Mary.

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Michele Cooper
05:31 Sep 30, 2022

Thank you, I really enjoyed your story

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Story Time
16:13 Sep 30, 2022

Thank you very much.

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Rebecca Miles
19:08 Sep 26, 2022

This absolutely nailed the sycophant! The facetiousness was absolutely spot on, so were all those hollow references to great great great uncles or grand grand daddies; you must have soaked up lots of pontificating politicians in your time! I had wanted to try to do something on Boris but after reading your job I'm glad I didn't attempt taking you on as you're the master of speech! This plays to all your strengths Kevin; go fry yourself some butter! (As a Brit I've never had deep fried butter sticks; I'm wondering if that's like fried bread w...

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Story Time
19:09 Sep 26, 2022

Thank you so much, Rebecca. This was certainly a fun one to write.

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Rebecca Miles
19:11 Sep 26, 2022

You can tell! It's a rollicking read ,-) What do you think about the butter-sticks= British fried bread? A possibility?

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Story Time
19:11 Sep 26, 2022

It's definitely possible ha

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Amanda Lieser
20:11 Sep 25, 2022

Hey Kevin! I was happy to see a story of yours! And the air of election season is permeating us more every day. I think my favorite part of this was the way that the piece read like a real speech. I also picked a favorite line: Need I remind some of you that ridding specters from a town is not as simple as snapping your fingers or tap dancing like a frog in a top hat? Nice job! He has my vote. :)

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Story Time
07:40 Sep 26, 2022

Thank you so much, Amanda. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Riel Rosehill
18:35 Sep 24, 2022

For once I looked at the tags and I was very intrigued to see horror. Especially paired with a comedic tone - I've not actually read funny horror before Reedsy but it's growing on me, it's a bit like those interactive dungeon experiences where they scare you but it's all fun... but terrifying. But fun. Loved the sinister tone to the ending, I could just see the horrified faces facing an evil smile. As per usual the humour is on point - loved the bit about the rashes. No, not like *this* rash, it's shaped like a different state 😇🤣 Good revamp...

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Story Time
00:39 Sep 25, 2022

Thank you so much, Riel!

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Lily Finch
02:29 Sep 24, 2022

Great story! I wondered if this line should be read differently? "You have to stay two miles of the Horseman and get to that bridge before he hurls that flaming pumpkin of his at you." Other than that I enjoyed the read. Thanks, Kevin. LF6

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Story Time
00:40 Sep 25, 2022

Good catch!

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Tejan Kargbo
16:21 Oct 07, 2022

A very educative and understandable story

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Sumiko Courtney
13:58 Oct 03, 2022

I really enjoyed the humor and tone of this story!

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Story Time
16:51 Oct 06, 2022

Thank you so much, Sumiko!

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Tommy Goround
03:48 Sep 28, 2022

Pace, pace... good. The original character by Washington Irving wasn't as interesting. Bravo for the backstory. Interpretation: The narrator is working for his 5th seat as Mayor, and bedazzles the old-tyme townfolk with his precious heritage. (Allude that he is the modern Horseman; kudos) theme: politician will do anything to win What is the theme of the original? School teachers ought naught to ply their love craft against the mighty? (Stick to your lane?) Ichibald Jr Jr Jr , nephew, is doing much better than his Uncle. Clapping. Wo...

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