The Black Lily

"The Black Lily" is a curious little story about ... well, we fade to black before the act itself (fortunately) but it's pretty clear from the beginning that our hero is either a sexual predator or a serial killer, or both. The majority of the story is framed as our hero looking through an album and reminiscing about the women in his life; possibly he also notices a mysterious girl (actually a girl, not a woman) watching him from a neighbour's window. The endgame has him going to the jewelry store he owns, finding the mysterious girl there (surprise, the sales clerk can't see her) and then multiple endings happen.

This is a distinctly more polished work than anything I have seen from this author thus far. There are some odd phrasings here and there, but I found them quite charming: the setting is Italy, and a certain exuberance in the prose only serves to add to the sense of actually being there. In terms questionable design choices, I think the only complaint that needs to be made is that the contents of the under-counter bathroom cabinet are a tad under-described: on being told they were "some pads", I assumed they were scouring pads for maintaining the perfect cleanliness of that stylish little bathroom. I had to discover through another review that these were, in fact, sanitary pads....

There are discoveries to be made about our hero, it seems, beyond the mere fact that they're a serial killer. After all, that was already strongly suggested by the opening paragraph, and the confirmation afforded by the newspaper clippings in the office safe comes as no surprise. Suddenly, a lot of our hero's strangely fastidious, self-conscious behaviour makes sense. That you could complete the story without once stumbling onto any of it, well, I actually consider that a positive aspect of the medium.

For breakfast: two toasty-warm croissants with fluffy, whipped butter and a a selection of jams; three thin slices of smoked ham, and a double espresso.