The Vanishing Season (Part 8) by Katy Darby - Audio Novella

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  • Song Name: The Vanishing Season (Part 8) by Katy Darby - Audio Novella
  • Artist: Katy Darby
  • Album: The Vanishing Season
  • Year: 2020

Summer, 1892. James Emmerson, a Cambridge historian, has gone to see his old friend Chester Whittingstall, who recently discovered a medieval Doom painting at the church where he is vicar: St Peter’s, Wenhaston. Arriving, he finds Chester gone: Emmerson views the painting, sketching some of the figures Oxborrow says may be wodewose - hairy wild men - and falls into a sort of trance, missing his train. Forced to stay overnight, he thinks he sees a feral, hunched manlike shape sitting atop a new-dug grave. Next morning he dismisses it as a dream - but then sees a naked footprint in the fresh soil.

Thinking Chester may have fled to the village of Hartest to discover the identity of the Doom artist, he decides to follow, hiring a horse and gig - but it seems that something preternaturally swift is also following him, and a breathless chase ends in his crashing his vehicle. Limping into a local pub, he discovers from a barmaid the true nature of the “vanishing season”, when young men all over the county begin to disappear just after midsummer … Arriving in Hartest, Chester is nowhere to be seen - but the entire village is preparing to celebrate the Hauling, when the legendary Hartest Stone was hauled from the top of the hill to the village green. This ritual features a dance called the Virgins’ Jig, involving men dressed as wodewose …