Reviewed: 2011-03-28 - (Review Updated: 2011-04-15)
The genesis of Duffelupegus' "$278 Worth of Escape" is interesting in itself, and goes to the question of "How much is the author required to show the reader?"
This tale of transferred affections was originally posted as a single chapter, in which Duffelupegus truly mines the emotional sucker punch that such a betrayal can visit upon a person.
There's no mystery here; in fact, the narrator is the only person -- characters and reader included -- who hadn't seen what was coming, and since it's written in retrospective, in a very authentic voice, he makes sure the reader gets all the signposts. This isn't about revenge or resolution, it's about that moment, one so overwhelming that it's beyond pain.
Or at least it was, until the author was hit with a ton of feedback asking what happened next, and he added two chapters to try to provide the answer.
Does it work? Is it a better story with the additions? The reader can actually judge that, since the first chapter remains unaltered. The additional material actually does add some rather painful closure for Mike, the beleaguered protagonist, but it won't likely completely satisfy those who wanted to know everything. In that sense, the open-ended nature of the original posting may actually have made for a better story, leaving readers to fill in the blanks out of their own imagination.
But you can judge for yourself . . .