Ghost Town by Rebecca Payne

When the before people spoke about the city centre being a ghost town, they had no idea how accurate they were….
Things must be bad when even York’s ghosts are noticing! Rebecca Payne explores the relationships and the brilliantly comic dynamics of the dead who are struggling to live without the living…

Eric broke the habit of a deathtime and went for a wander whilst there were customers around. Having seen the building so empty for so long, the buzz was beautiful. Customers sat at over half the tables as staff went around taking orders like bees hopping from flower to flower. Tall Boss Lady was at the door greeting customers and guiding staff like the conductor of a complex orchestra. Craig sat on the counter, legs dangling through a sink, as he watched his two favourites preparing and sending out orders from the bar, effortlessly moving around each other as if practicing an elaborately choreographed dance.

Our Streets Unmasked commissioned seven stories in three parts, asking young and emerging writers to write pieces that reflected the changing faces, real and imagined, of the places we live as they took off their masks and woke from their lockdown slumber. Notebook in hand, writers visited their chosen location on three dates to gather inspiration for their three-part story conjuring often surreal and magical changes within them. All commissioned writers received advice, editorial guidance and a small fee. More about Our Streets Unmasked here.