Serial Fiction Beta Reads

Seed, Part 11


Steve Fendt
3 min readNov 9, 2022


Roofscape | Steve Fendt

Author’s note for this beta read

  • Please go easy on the highlights.
  • Please, please comment! Be as honest as you like.
  • I’m putting all 12 parts up simultaneously. You can use the list at the end to move between parts.
  • Language warning. We’re out of c-words and have few fucks left to give.

Sal had expected a difficult conversation. He was not disappointed.

His explanations, so cogent when rehearsed in his head, lost coherence and conviction as her silence persisted. Finally, aware that he was simply repeating himself, he tailed off. He sat at the kitchen table, facing the pale young woman whose face betrayed little of what was going on inside, save tiny tremors around the mouth and eyes which suggested it was nothing good.

Finally she spoke.

‘Gallant Sir Sal cedes the field of battle, bids the maiden adieu and gallops off into the sunset. As he rides he ponders his noble sacrifice and sheds a manly tear.’

‘That’s one way of looking at it, I suppose.’

‘If only he had asked the fair maiden what her feelings were. But no. He just took a decision on her behalf, because that’s what manly heroes do.’

‘Not fair. I’m putting this to you now.’

She turned on him. ‘You’re presenting me with a fucking fait accompli. You’ve decided, and now you’re going.’

He shrugged helplessly.

‘Do you want to know what your problem is, Sal?’

‘No, but you’re going to tell me anyway.’

‘Fucking right I am. You’re just another man who’s terrified of commitment.’

‘Commitment? To what? You make it sound like we’re a married couple.’

‘Yeah, well, we know how that works out, where you’re concerned. I thought at least our art meant more to you. Screw “married couple” — I thought we were friends.’

‘I’m doing this for your sake as much as mine, Jelka. Precisely because you’re my friend.’



Steve Fendt Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.