Alqueria, the personage (El Gente del Cerro)
Between Alqueria’s Calle Mirador and the Calle Límite lie the whitewashed terraced houses of El Gente Cerro.
Here Antonio Poyato tends the plants in his extended patio. This is where he cultivates the infamous Remitroot. This plant can be eaten as a powerful aphrodisiac, distilled or fermented into potent liquors. Pulped Remitroot makes a highly efficient rust preventative for the ballast tanks of oil tankers.
The Romans cultivated the root, Remitus Radix it was known as mainly for its qualities as an aphrodisiac. It was said that Caligula had some of his best nights after eating the root.
In La Calle del Siniestro lives one Manuela, unofficial leader of the unofficial Gente del Cerro Popular Front. The unofficial aims are to cause as much havoc as possible to Rodriguez, his olive mill and his section of the divided population of Alqueria. Manuela is a tall raven haired girl, she possesses classic Andalucían traits. Olive skin with eyes like paperweights that can tear out a man’s heart at a hundred paces. She knows how formidable her attributes are and deploys them accordingly.
Manuela holds court in the bar La Casa Devante to the north of the Village. Its tables and chairs encroach into the open space of the village square below the castle tower. Here our gallant heroine organises her forces and plans her forays into the opposition’s territory. She is a dark natured girl and employs both psychological and physically disruptive techniques. It is whispered that as a child she decapitated her and her Sister’s dolls, keeping their heads in a plastic bag under her mattress. More than once the directors of the Olive Mill have crossed Manuela. It was Robles who complained that she threatened to hollow him out with a soup spoon.
The HQ of her enemy, Los Recién Llegados is the bar La Golondrina Verde situated to the south west. Opposite the Olive Mill and in an orange grove counter plotting and intrigue are a nightly occurrence. These two power bases do more to regulate the running of the Village than all the good intentions of the elected folk of the Village Council.
Of the non-partisan of the village two are worthy of comment. Old man Matas who lurks in a cave above the Pueblo and Blythe Gruntmore the obligatory Englishman speaking bad Spanish with a Geordie accent.
More of these two worthies later.