Serial Fiction Beta Reads

Seed, Part 8

Directing the Eye

Steve Fendt
3 min readNov 9, 2022

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Rainy Tuesday in Carlton | 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.

The left-hand figure was delineated in burnt sienna strokes over a blue grey undertone, hinting at blood vessels just beneath the skin. Small flecks of cadmium red where bones jutted gave the flesh a raw look.

He had broad, angular shoulders. Deep shadows behind the sharp horizontal line of the clavicle emphasised the columnar neck. The Adam’s apple stood painfully exposed like a sharp lump of gristle. His chin was tilted upward so that the neat, red beard jutted, giving the high-cheeked face a haughty, defiant aspect.

The chest was broad but bony, ribs clearly showing. The abdomen was compressed by the pose, so that thin horizontal folds of flesh bisected the navel.

He sat upon the ground, left hand clasped firmly around left knee. Foreshortened, the left foot was gigantic, the raised toes blocky. The man’s right thigh was almost horizontal, the foot tucked behind the left, so that the pelvis lay open, the genitals carelessly exposed. The penis lay heavy and quiescent across the blue and ochre flesh of the right thigh; the scrotum, raw umber and Prussian blue, hung askew, emphasised by the black shadow behind.

He leaned against the shoulder of the figure next to him as if in mutual support. She was as tall as he, as slender, but black haired, pale skinned, narrow shouldered. Much of her flesh was the bare beige ground of the paper: hatching in cadmium red and ultramarine gave it volume and warmth. Her eyes were downcast under serene brows, her chin tilted downward, as if in contemplation.

Otherwise her pose mirrored his: shoulder against shoulder, thigh against thigh, knee against knee. The right breast was concealed by the knee and hand, the left exposed: small, pale, crimson-areolaed. The belly was firmly rounded, tilted slightly upward. A…

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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.