The old man gave Bren a long, slow look.
“Do you want to know, boy,” he said quietly, in the even larger quiet of the empty room, “Do you want know why we built Morris Hostel in the ceiling? Do you want to know why there aren’t any ladders or elevators working any more?”
Bren looked at him, cautiously.
“I might want to,” Bren replied, after some consideration.
“We built this in the ceiling,” said the man, cryptically, “because we couldn’t build it on the ground. We dared not ever go near the ground. Do you know why?”
“Because of monsters.”
“Hah!” barked the man, with a sudden, sharp laugh, “Oh yes? And what would you know about monsters?” Bren bristled at this dismissal, but the man went on. “Tell me then,” the old man said, his long beard rustling into the shape of a grimly amused smile, “what monsters do we fear?”
“The sistiks, mainly,” Bren stated, proud for a chance to show off what he knew, “and the shadowers, and the banshees, and the lost souls.”
“Hmph,” grunted the man, his smile vanishing as suddenly as it arrived, “banshees are the last of your worries. No, no no. See, what you have to be afraid of is…” he paused; whether it was for purposeful theatrical effect or not was not readily apparently, but his eyes flickered to the window behind Bren’s chair, giving the boy a sudden crawling chill up his spine.
“…What you have to be afraid of, is…” the man started speaking again, slowly, “is the fog.”
no post-pro except for slight photo noise
Minor corrections. Re-rendered and saved as vertical HD/ half float .exr, and transposed to smaller 8-bit .jpg in photoshop. Same post-pro as before, i.e. barely any.