Despite her warnings, you feel as if you should investigate the writing sound from the Aristocrat's quarters. You do not know how many of you are left – so you knock on the door. Twice. There is no reply, and you let yourself in.
There is no room inside – instead, you are in a chamber lined with viscous pink material, membrane like and slightly sticky as you step over it. The walls are spongy and move back and forth slightly, the occasional rudimentary organ protruding from the surface. You feel as if you can hear breathing from a distant place, but cannot place from where.
In the centre of the room, the Aristocrat is smoking calmly.
At least, her expression is calm. Her hands are shaking, her shoulders trembling, and you can several bolts snapped against the surface of the room or lodged into the undulating corridors. Rust-red fluid leaks from the holes in the sides.
“Would you believe I was finishing my will?”
She laughs a wild and raucous laugh, then coughs violently, blackened sputum coating the pulsating floor.
“My apologies for earlier. I just... Needed time. To finish a letter, you see. It was important. And yet – I couldn't finish it.”
Her shoulders crumple, and the crossbow falls to the floor.
“How many days have I had to write the damn thing, years, perhaps... And yet... And yet...”
She mumbles to herself as you hear a wet slurping noise from under your feet. You manage to leap to the side, but the Aristocrat simply lets it pull her into the floor – papers and bolts and dust being pulled alongside her.
You call to her but she doesn't respond, nearly up to her knees in the organic nightmare.
“Do you think you could, perhaps, light a cigarette for me?”
Her voice is quiet and humiliated. You carefully move towards her and pull her lighter free from the pink muck – only to flick it open and watch as the stuff recoils with a livid hiss.
Laughing, some of the old arrogance returns to the Aristocrat's eyes as you light the cigarette.
“I suppose I've been in worse. Might I have that back?”
You hand her the lighter and she holds it to her waste – you stepping back as the mucous peels back in what appears to be a sentient fright. Her laughter is contagious and you watch as the floor retreats – eventually creating a hole that the Aristocrat falls into, laughing uproariously all the while.
Then you don't hear her anymore, and quickly leave as the hole seals itself shut with an organic slither of flesh.
Making your way back to the foyer, you are somehow unsurprised to find the Reporter there.
She is shaking and rocking back and forth while trying to look together at the same time.
Around you, the viscous walls of the house are drawing in around you – absorbing everything as they do so.
Neither of you say anything, for there is nothing to say.
Having made peace with herself, the Reporter rises to her feet – clearly no longer afraid, or simply too tired to show her fear. She smiles weakly.
“Well, I guess this is it, then. Better luck next time, eh?”