If you don’t want to know the ending…

…you don’t need to look away now. There’s many more to choose from in ’99 Reasons Why’.

In fact, author Caroline Smailes’ new ebook, available in ibook edition and for Kindle download from today, offers readers a total of 11 different endings to choose from. The book tells the story of Kate, a 22-year-old woman who occupies a surreal personal universe that involves spying on The Kevin Keegan Day Nursery across the road from her bedroom window. Readers can navigate 9 different endings by using multiple choice questions on their Kindle or via a spinning story wheel on their iPad or iPhone leaving  decision-making to the reader for the ending they like.

However, isn’t the idea of a book to have just the one ending? Let’s just have the author to make the decision about what happens to the characters and we, the readers, can decide whether we like the ending or not? It’s a fair point but that doesn’t happen in the movies. Films are often screened privately and the audience asked what they think and, if the studio doesn’t like the result, they’ll re-edit or reshoot some scenes, usually the ending. Some DVDs carry an ‘alternative ending’ i.e. the original in the special features. In this Reuters feature Caroline and her publisher explain the thinking behind the e-book.

I’m not sure I could be bothered to write 11 different endings for a book and as a reader, I’m not convinced I’d want to read 11 different endings every time but I think it’s an interesting idea to use new media in new ways and for this particular ebook, I think the concept works really well (and I loved the book). I’d be interested to know other people’s point of view on endings.

Now some of you are dying to point out that I keep saying 11 different endings and yet there are only 9  on the Kindle and iPad. That’s because there are also two additional endings – one which will be handwritten especially by Caroline and auctioned for charity and the other one which is published here. Remember you don’t need to look away!

99: THE REASON WHY I WAS ONLY WORTH NINETY-NINE QUID

It’s been six days since the little girl in the pink coat went missing and me Uncle Phil’s in me bedroom.

We’ve been watching the little girl in the pink coat’s mam on the news. She was appealing to the public for witnesses.

‘Didn’t realise she had a mam,’ I says, looking at me telly.

‘Everyone’s got a mam, pet,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘She sold her story to The Sun,’ I says, looking at me telly.

‘Got a few quid,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘She wanted nowt to do with that bairn before all this,’ me Uncle Phil says, looking at me telly.

‘Do you know where she is?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘Belle?’ me Uncle Phil asks me.

I nod.

‘She’s safe,’ me Uncle Phil says to me. ‘Your mam’s keeping an eye on her.’

‘Can I be her mam?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘No, pet, you’re a filthy whore,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘Can you make Andy Douglas come back, Uncle Phil?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

Me Uncle Phil shakes his head.

‘I love him,’ I tell me Uncle Phil.

‘Andy Douglas is your brother, pet. You didn’t seriously think Princess Di was your mam, did you?’ me Uncle Phil asks me.

I nod.

‘You’re a cradle snatcher just like your mam,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I nod.

‘Your mam miscarried when she found out I’d been banging Betty Douglas. Betty was expecting you,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I don’t speak.

‘When you was born, your mam went mad and I ended up buying you from Betty Douglas for ninety-nine quid,’ me Uncle Phil says.

‘Ninety-nine quid?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘I paid a hundred but got a quid change for some chips for your mam and dad’s tea,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘You bought me?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

I’m a little bit sick in me mouth.

‘It was the right thing to do,’ me Uncle Phil says to me. ‘I got Betty Douglas pregnant straight away with Andy.’

‘I’m pregnant,’ I says to me Uncle Phil. ‘I’m pregnant with me brother’s baby,’ I says, and then I throws up on me purple carpet.

‘You’re a filthy whore,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘What am I going to do?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘You’re going to have the baby,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘Have me brother’s baby?’ I asks me Uncle Phil.

‘Then I’m giving it to Betty Douglas to bring up,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘You what?’ I says to me Uncle Phil.

‘It’s the right thing to do,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

‘I can’t—’ I says to me Uncle Phil.

‘It’s either that or I’ll make you disappear,’ me Uncle Phil says to me.

I don’t speak.

I’m thinking, they’re all a bunch of nutters.

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About Peter Domican
Marketer and change professional. Writer and photographer.

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