Lying Is the Mark of Liars

Wealth accumulates at the top, entropy at the bottom. The foundation has rotted through, and a dense ooze the color of prairie soil has begun flooding the lower levels, filling the building with the heady smell of peat and tar, sun-baked grass and wildfire smoke.

Life on the upper floors goes on. Supplies are flown in by drones — canapes, crudite, alcohol in all its forms, delicate weed gummies like caviar, actual caviar, drifts of cocaine like powdered snow, marbled beef wrapped in gold leaf, everything rare and succulent and expensive. The parties continue around the clock, drowning out the slow burbling of the rising ooze.

No parties are held on the topmost floors, no wild orgies, no bacchanals. They do not live simply, but nor do they have any need or ability to flaunt. Generations of wealth and they have grown into the structure of the building itself, winding through the walls and down the elevator shafts like human ivy. A cluster of eyes pressed against a pane of glass, fingers and toes wriithing through the plumbing, organs ticking slowly over like an engine cooling. They know what is coming — feel it in their gelatinous bones — but they are grown too deep to uproot, too entwined to relinquish.