ISOLATED TENDERNESS This place is hideous. Each person a malformed vision of some mad painter’s abstract experimentation. Twisted limbs, sallow skin and growths on top of growths on top of growths. The landscape was a toxic sludge, burnt out trees and dilapidated buildings. The sun never shines here and everything is bleak, in both physicality and emotion. Somewhere, far away, in an old cobblestone tower, there was a woman. Neither monstrous nor retch inducing. Instead, she was gorgeous. A vision, the reason men would paint and write and sculpt. Soft, supple skin and curves that could crush the will of even the most stalwart man. She was of quiet demeanor but obvious passion, lashed to a world of uncompromising abnormality. Or perhaps she was, in fact, the abnormality, because she had no reason to exist in a place so harsh. She sadly spends her days in that old crumbling tower, walking the staircase to the peak. There she sits and gazes into the mirror, and beauty gazes back. The only friend she will ever know. She will never come to know the perils of the outside world. The denizens of this foul place would have no choice but to act out in revulsion. She should be the reigning queen of a decadent kingdom, instead she is trapped in her own Hell, alone within her perfection, until the end of time.