Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (41) You can take it with you (Part 01)
The Finchbottom Vale nestles comfortably between the Ancient Dancingdean Forest to the south and the rolling Pepperstock Hills in the north, those who are lucky enough to live there think of it as the rose between two thorns.
The Vale was once a great wetland that centuries earlier stretched from Mornington in the East to Childean in the west and from Shallowfield in the south to Purplemere in the north.
But over the many centuries the vast majority had been drained for agriculture, a feat achieved largely by the efforts of famous Mornington Mills, of which only three had survived to the present day and even those were no longer functional and were in various states of repair.
There were only three small bodies of water left in the Vale now one in Mornington, one in Childean and third of course was Purplemere.
And in Purplemere 29 year old Nerissa Lopez worked behind the delicatessen counter at Stephenson’s Supermarket
She was quite a shy girl who had a gentle nature and almost always wore a warm open smile on her face and she was popular with staff and customers alike.
Nerissa was a very slim and attractive girl with beautiful long dark brown hair and dark skin, reflecting her heritage as did her brown eyes.
In her ancestry she had Filipino and Spanish blood but she was born and bred in Britain and had no family ties with either country or even in Britain for that matter.
She was the only child of parent who themselves were only children and both of them were gone now.
So she was all on her own and she lived alone in a small one bedroom flat about a mile from where she worked.
You might wonder why a lovely friendly girl with a slim figure blessed with a personality that was equally as lovely as her smile, living alone in a dingy one bedroom flat.
It was certainly something she often wondered.
She lived in a small block of flats called Gladstone Court in Flat 2b.
Her next door neighbour in flat 2a was 32 year old Harry Devonshire, he though had the luxury of a larger two bedroom flat in which to live alone in, courtesy of a failed relationship some eight years earlier.
Unlike Nerissa his heritage was strictly British and he did have living family, two brothers in fact, unfortunately they were both living in Australia so he hadn’t seen either of them for over 5 years.
Harry also worked at Stephenson’s where he was the warehouse manager.
Nerissa and Harry were best friends and did everything together, if either of them was invited anywhere the other was always their plus one.
Equally if one of them wanted to see a film or try out a new restaurant the other would accompany them, in fact they were so often seen together people assumed they were a couple.
It would not have been an exaggeration to say that they loved each other but their relationship was strictly platonic and their friendship had been since forever and they were close almost to the point of symbiosis.
Coworkers at the store used to think their relationship was almost comic, when they seemed to know what the other was thinking and even finished each other’s sentences, Harry and Nerissa just got each other and their thoughts and desires remained quite esoteric.