Serial Fiction Beta Reads

Seed, Part 3

Noodle Soup

Steve Fendt
3 min readNov 9, 2022

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Hardware Lane | 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. Plentiful c-words, f-words and other delights await you.

Outside the steamed-up window, ghostly forms hurried by. The aroma of spices and fresh-chopped veggies was sharp, delicious. Sal suddenly realised that he was ravenous.

‘You have absolutely no filter,’ Jelka laughed, leaning over her bowl, elbows on countertop. A hoarse, dry laugh. Sal couldn’t yet tell whether it meant she was truly amused. ‘I like that. I think.’

‘It’s only because I’m completely fucking shell-shocked,’ he muffled through a mouthful of noodles. ‘Just had three days of an old friend’s marital trauma. Had to do an early-morning runner.’

‘Be thankful it was only three days and you could run away.’

‘Oh, I am. Believe me.’

‘So, what brings a Professional Landscape Artist to Melbourne, Sal? Other than leaving a friend in the lurch?’

‘Despair, mostly.’

‘Wow. You’re a little ray of sunshine on this fine Melbourne morning.’

‘Yeah, well … Life seems to have a way of going tits-up on me of late. Decided that I needed to break camp: get away from the Murray, come down to the Big Smoke and check out whether the streets have been paved with gold yet.’

‘Got some bad news for you, my friend. You’re a-hundred-and-seventy years too late for the Gold Rush.’

‘Ah. I feared as much. Darn.’

‘Not much demand for landscapes at the moment, then?’

‘Demand isn’t the problem. Inspiration — or the lack thereof.’

‘Right. So now you’re thinking less “Murray Sunset” and more “Fed Square Sunrise”?’

‘Oh … something like that.’ Sal gesticulated vaguely with his spoon. ‘Or I could go into the house painting business — if you can stand the…

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Steve Fendt

https://stevefendt.substack.com Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.