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Marko 2.0 by Demonflames Marko 2.0 :icondemonflames:Demonflames 0 2 Lesson in Letting Go by Demonflames Lesson in Letting Go :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Cloena Riversong by Demonflames Cloena Riversong :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Sad Mar Profile - Digital by Demonflames Sad Mar Profile - Digital :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Sad Mar Profile - Sketch by Demonflames Sad Mar Profile - Sketch :icondemonflames:Demonflames 0 0 Angelic Friend by Demonflames Angelic Friend :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Voice Through Song by Demonflames Voice Through Song :icondemonflames:Demonflames 2 0 Mommy's Little Psycho - Colored by Demonflames Mommy's Little Psycho - Colored :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Mommy's Little Psycho - Outline by Demonflames Mommy's Little Psycho - Outline :icondemonflames:Demonflames 2 0 Mommy's Little Psycho - Sketch by Demonflames Mommy's Little Psycho - Sketch :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Broken Kokoro by Demonflames Broken Kokoro :icondemonflames:Demonflames 4 0 Silence Louder than Thunder Cover by Demonflames Silence Louder than Thunder Cover :icondemonflames:Demonflames 3 0 Blindsided Cover by Demonflames Blindsided Cover :icondemonflames:Demonflames 2 0 Human!Kuro Sketch by Demonflames Human!Kuro Sketch :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Birthday YinYang by Demonflames Birthday YinYang :icondemonflames:Demonflames 1 0 Luveir Female Adult by Demonflames Luveir Female Adult :icondemonflames:Demonflames 0 0

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Hey hey hey!!!
So sausome news everybody! Sausomecon is closing in! So far I've prepped my outfit for the cafe which means yes Neko Butler version Marko is coming back to the convention. I will also be bringing Tamaki Suoh again. On top of one more that I'm still piecing together so yes, it's a surprise. Love y'all and can't wait to serve tea, have some laughs, and just greatly have fun at the convention. Hopefully I run into some fun people along the way!

#mdcupdates #markodcabcoon #sausomecon #sausomecon2018 #sausomeconcafe #maidandbutlercafe2018 #nekocafe2018 #somuchexcitement

It’s been some time since I’ve done this.

I don’t really know where i’m going.

Where the start truly is.

The ending is far out of reach.

I just know I need to write this.

My heart is set on it.

As if something has possessed me to get out a story.

A poem.

This tale that has long since been locked up.


To tell you the truth… I don’t really know who I am.

Everyone is supposed to have that label of a name.

My name doesn’t fit me though.

My mother named me Ashley because she didn’t want me to grow up with an uncommon name like hers.

But the thing is, I always envied her name.

It was unique.

It was beautiful.

Yet, she thought it was something annoying.

Or at least, that’s how it always seemed.

Sure, people always said her name wrong or spelled it wrong.

Do you know how many different versions of the name Ashley there are?

How many different spellings?

None of them.

Not one.

None did I ever feel connected to.

My name is where it began I guess.

At least… to a certain degree.


I was taught at a young age that different was okay.

Something we don’t see near as much in this world anymore.

I was taught that it was okay to be a girl and not want to wear makeup.

That it was okay to be a girl and want to make mud pies.

To want to wrestle with the boys.

To want to dress like the boys.

Sure I was put in those flowery dresses and cute overalls that most girls wore as kids.

But I still got to be in the clothes that fit me.

The ones that made me comfortable.

I got to be me.


Me of the past… more power to you.

I don’t really remember who ‘me’ is anymore.


My dad gave me my middle name.

Leoti.

Unique.

Different.

He told me that it meant prairie flower.

Something you should know, though.

There are a multitude of different prairie flowers.

I looked it up once.

That name, when younger, told me it was okay to be free.

That I didn’t have to be just one person.

I could go find who ‘me’ really was and change as many times as I wanted.


I didn’t see my dad a whole lot growing up.

I won’t go into the details.

I don’t really know all of them anyways.

All I know is that I never stopped thinking about him.

That I always wondered how he was.

What his life was like.

I would send prayers to him to wish him good days when I was a kid.

Back when I still believed heavily in prayer.


A name with many spellings.

A name that meant something that happened to have many forms.

I had so many options.

Yet I still lost who ‘me’ was.


Sometimes we meet people that change our lives forever.

Sometimes those people just pass through.

Sometimes they come and go.

Other times.

Other times they stay for a lifetime.


I’ve met people in all those categories.


High school.

High school is kind of a mystery.

Parts of it I can remember so vividly.

Small parts of it that is.

The rest… I have to look through old photos and videos to click my memories back on.

Like they don’t want to be remembered.


I made great friends in high school.

Don’t get me wrong.

A lot of them though.

Fit into the first and second category.

None really were that lifetime level of friend.


After I graduated.

Even during graduation.

I was numb.

I lost my son in a miscarriage.

I lost myself to sex.

To pills.

To a knife that never felt sharp enough.

I lost myself to so much bad.


I couldn’t handle who I was.

I felt disgusted with myself.

The way I looked.

The way I thought.

The way I dressed.

The way I behaved.

It was all so disgusting.


So I’d take more pills.

I’d drown in my sorrows.


But nothing worked.


I started writing when I was ten years old.

Sounds silly to jump back to that but trust me, there’s a reason.

When I was ten I would write short little poems.

Silly little stories.

Things to get me through the pain of having moved once again.


When my senior year of high school was closing up.

When graduation was closing in.

When the loss and pain came crashing down.

I picked up my pen and began writing again.


I wrote it all out when nothing else worked.

In poems.

In song lyrics.

In journal entries.

I just kept writing.

Anything to distract myself.

Anything to make the numbness come back.

To make the pain go away.


Just as I’m writing now.

Telling my story so many years later.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.


So high school.

Good old high school.

My senior year was when I dated the man who would have been my son’s father.

Prom night.

That same year.

I broke things off with him.

Prom night.

Two months after I lost my son.

I’d gone damn near catatonic.

Unresponsive to normal things.

Hell.

Most of my senior year is blacked out of my memory.


Graduation.

Two weeks after prom.

I wasn’t really there.

I remember walking across the stage.

I remember my photo being taken.

I remember throwing my cap in the air.

I don’t remember much else.

I don’t try to.

I wasn’t myself at all.

I was the farthest thing from ‘me’ that I could possibly get.


That summer though.

I met a beautiful being.

She was just passing through my life at that time.

Just a short time in person.

Yet I knew who she was.

She was my Princess.

Come to help me re-establish myself.

Just not at that time.


She knows who she is.

She had shorter hair then.

Still wore guy clothes.

Living the lie she was forced to live.

Just as I had conned myself.

Into the lie of a life that I’d been living.

That first meeting though.

I knew she was going to impact my life.

That she was one of those rare people.

Those beautiful souls that help you get to a better place.

In mind.

In body.

In spirit.


I didn’t see her after that.

Not for many years.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.


After that encounter.

I began to question my ideas on who and what I really was.

My life as I knew it had changed.

My perspective changed.

I had changed.

Yet I still wasn’t the ‘me’ that fit the puzzle.


You know that phrase?

“You’re the piece of me I was missing.”

That phrase that couples say a lot to each other?

I agree and disagree with it.

Broken people.

Those like me.

Those like my Princess.

They have many missing pieces.

You find those pieces through the people you meet.

The ones that really alter your perception.

That shift your point of view.

Just enough.

So that you can see something you may have overlooked.


My Princess returned a piece to me.

Neither she nor I had realized at that time.

She gave me a piece titled “Realization.”


Foolishness.

Ignorance.

So much of that over that next year.

I met a sneaky Fox.

A clever Fox with a silver tongue.

He was skilled.

Would feed you honey with one spoon.

Then poison with the other.

But you’d never even notice.


I didn’t.

And just like my Princess.

That Fox returned to me a missing piece.

I never stated the people who give them.

Were just people of good natures.

He gave me the piece titled “Survival.”


That Fox conned me.

I lost three years of my life.

I thought I was in love.

Maybe I was.

Maybe my foolish brain thought I was in love.

That’s what those chemical signals were right?

Love.


I hated myself.

I fell into my depression so hard.

So fast.

So painfully far.

I just spiraled back down.


The Fox didn’t care.

We got married.

We moved away from all I knew.

I gave up my job.

My last name.

My heart.

My sanity.

All for something I thought was love.


I was wrong.

I was so very wrong.

I slowly wasted away.

Attempts at walks together got dashed.

Attempts to have simple conversations failed.

My only solace was my computer and my books.

And eventually my cats.

I cleaned the house.

Did the laundry.

Did the dishes.

No ounce of respect.

No amount of thanks.

Not even an inkling of love left in him.

Foxes are clever like that.


I was ashamed.

I was in pain.

I felt like I’d done something wrong.


“It’s my fault this isn’t working.”

“He’s had a long day.”

“Maybe he just needs his space.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t talk to him.”

“When I talk he always gets mad.”

“It’s my fault.”

“My fault.”
“MY FAULT!”


Those thoughts would invade my mind.

Night after night.

The pain never ceasing.

The emptiness growing larger.

The ache becoming unbearable.


So I became what the Fox wanted.

He wanted a clean home?

I cleaned it.

He wanted sex in the middle of the night?

I gave it to him.

He wanted to play games in silence?
I let him.

He wanted to be with his friends?
I let him leave.

He wanted me to drink with his friends?
I did so.


I became obedient.

I became a trophy wife.

I was no longer a human.

Just a possession.


To this day I’m still ashamed of this.

I don’t really know if I could forgive myself.

But the past is in the past.

It is written in the stones behind me.

I walk on blank stones and make new memories.


I wouldn’t give up that part of my life though.

During those three years I dealt with the Fox.

I met some more beautiful people.

Three that helped me survive.

Two that saved me.


I met the Opal, the Mermaid, and the Creator.

All three gave me back missing puzzle pieces.

All three helped me survive in some form.

The Opal gave me hope.

Though she would never realize this.

The Mermaid gave me new life.

Something I had needed.

The Creator gave me a voice.

Something I'd lost long ago.


Through them I began to recreate who I wanted to be.


I then met a Huntress.

She returned a piece of my puzzle to me.

She had an artistic eye with many talents.

She pulled me from the clutches of the Fox.

Helping me remember my worth.

If only for a short time.


I had changed.

I was awkward.

Hiding from everyone behind my computer screen.

Putting my nose in my books.

Sleeping longer hours than I should have.

I just...

I wanted to get far away.

From everyone.

From everything.


“I mean… who truly wanted me anyway?”

“I’m just a broken toy, right?”

That’s how I continued to think.

For weeks.

For months.

Even today that thought will come back.

Just not near as often.


Through her I met the Hound.

Artistic as well.

Different talents.

Different tastes.

She helped me remember my love of art.

My love of writing returned soon after.

She returned another piece of my puzzle.


It was with these puzzle pieces that “Marko” was born.

Marko is a variation of Marcus.

It is related to Mars, the Roman god of war.

It was my way to show I was ready to fight.

I was ready for the long battle ahead.


I headed to the coast.

An old friend brought me in.

But a friend it turned out she was not.

She was a Two-Face.

She’d pretend she was your friend.

Then stab you in the back.

Maybe even in your face.

She and her family sent me away.


From almost having to live on the streets.

To getting in a car with my suitcase full of my minimal belongings.

I was saved by a Russet Wolf.

Now I’m sure she doesn’t see it that way.

But I do.


The Russet Wolf gave me a home.

Gave me time.

She asked little of me.

Coaxed me a bit to talk to people.

To go outside.

To return to what was real.

She’d pull me from flashbacks.

From nightmares.

She gave me a motherly love that I wasn’t used to.

I loving heart that terrified me.


She’s still in my life now.

She’s one of the few people that make it better.


Through staying with the Russet Wolf.

I met the Alchemist.

At least that’s what I’ll call him.

I had met him before staying with her.

But through staying with her I had gotten to really know him.

He was kind.

He reawakened my more spiritual side.

The night we went to that bonfire.

Where I got to see those people dance around the fire.

Sage brushes in hand.

Giving offerings to the flame at the end.

I will always remember that as one of my best nights.

The Alchemist returned a piece to my puzzle.


After them came the Supernova.

He was a bright flame.

Full of passion.

Full of love.

Had a grand imagination.

We fought.

We loved.

We never truly parted though.

This brilliant Supernova gave me back a puzzle piece.

They also helped me reignite my heart.


I stayed on the coast for a while.

I met other people.

Learned a few new skills.

However…

My heart still wouldn’t balance out.


I returned to the midwest.

To my hometown.

Where I’d lost my son.

Where I’d met the Fox.

The place where some of my darkest memories.

My darkest moments.

Where all that waited to reawaken.

To haunt.

To torment.


In all of this.

I lost myself even more.

I was falling into old habits.

Pain pills.

Alcohol.

The knife that was sharper than it seemed.

My mind was spiraling again.


“Who am I?”

“What is my purpose?”

“Why am I here?”

“What do I want to become?”

“Who do I want to become?”


These questions continued.

Over and over.


The days were tough.

Questions running through my head.

Seeing through the lies of my family.

The lies of my friends.

At least.

Those of both who were close by.


The nights were harder.

Flashbacks invaded my dreams.

Boundaries between the present and past would blur.

I would see the Fox.

Even when he wasn’t there.

I would see the Two-Face.

Despite knowing she wouldn’t dare come here.


I would wake up screaming some nights.

Other nights I’d jolt awake.

And for just a moment.

I’d see the Fox hovering over me.


I reconnected with my Princess.

We traded stories.

Telling of our hardships.

Of our triumphs.

She’d finally begun to embrace the woman she was.

I was so proud of her.

I was still struggling with my own identity.


My thoughts had been torn asunder.


Half the time I was fine.

I was thinking about work.

I was thinking about my novel I desperately wanted to finish.

I was thinking about my family.

About my friends.

About what few good things I had in life.


The other half of the time.

My mind went to dark places.

It would think of death.

Of how to kill me.

Of how to harm others.

Of how much I needed to be locked up.

In an insane asylum.

In a prison.

Maybe in both.


I started going into therapy.

There I met the Swan.

She was kind.

Patient.

Observant.

Had a sense of humor.

Forced me to change my perspectives.

She returned another puzzle piece to me.


I saw her for months.

I uncovered lost memories.

I cried sometimes in her office.

I ran from some topics.

But she would push.

Just as she was meant to.

I learned a lot from her.


The seventh anniversary came.

That time when my son would have had a birthday.

That time when we’d be shopping for school supplies.

Getting him new clothes.

A new backpack.

Maybe a new toy if he was good.


I cried for hours that day.

I’d been out of therapy for a while.

I’d been away from a lot of good things.

But I managed.

I fought to stay okay.

If only barely.


I met my Bard.

He terrified me when we first met.

Too nice.

Too kind.

Too generous.

Too perfect.

“Perfect is a trap.”


That’s how my mind read it.

I shut down around him.

A lot of times I did so without meaning to.


But then it got close to Halloween.

My favorite holiday.

My mind instantly went dark though.

“Another year without your son.”

My mind dropped that on me.

I began to spiral once more.


The Russet Wolf noticed it.

The Alchemist noticed it.

The Hound noticed it.

The Supernova noticed it.

They tried to reach out to me.

I wasn’t very easy to reach.

I busied myself.

Distracted myself.


The Bard began to really notice the change.

I was forced out of my shell.

I was pulled into gentle arms.

He helped me calm my storm.


Through the Bard I saw a new world.

I saw endless possible futures.

Good futures.


However.

My mind saw the bad ones.

Just as easily.

Just as quickly.


That’s when the Wanderer resurfaced.

He showed me cool images from his travels.

Shared his ideals.

His way of life.

Through him I began to find new life.

New meaning.


But nothing good lasts long for me.

A bad pattern of mine.

Possibly self-inflicted without meaning to.


I spiraled.

Flashbacks became more frequent.

The Fox reappeared too much.

The Bard had to pull me to the present.

Snap me out of my relapses.


I felt too dependent on the Bard.

I was conflicted by him.

“Why do you stay?”

“Please don’t leave me.”

“He’ll throw me away too.”

I was torn by these thoughts.

Terrified of what had been done to me till now.

Waiting to see what happened.


My Princess kept reappearing.

So did the Huntress.

Even the Hound.

Both the Russet Wolf and Alchemist too.

The Wanderer never truly left either.


Just like them.

The Bard stayed too.


Through those amazing people.

As well as others not quite listed.

I have begun to change my perspective.

I have embraced my differences.

I still have no true label.

Ash is a placeholder.

Marko is the artist I am.

I don’t think there will ever be a label for me.

Then again…

Why should there be?
I have two options people can call me by.

Ash, the short version of Ashley.

Or Marko.

People can choose for themselves.


I am who I am.

That is my true label.

“I am who I am. That is all I am.”

Nothing else will truly fit me.

Not for my creativity.

Not for my more guyish apparel.

Not for my unique outlook.

Just “I am who I am. That is all I am.”


Wanna know a secret?

That’s okay.

That can be your label too.


© 2018 by Ashley L. Vernon aka Marko D. Cabcoon


PS - This is a story you may very much share with others. That is the purpose of this tale.
Marko 2.0
Started a new life recently. Got moved outta Mom's, have some amazing new friends, have a wonderful roommate who is also one of my closest friends, and starting to destress.
Because of all that I felt it was time for Mar, my anime persona, to get a bit of a makeover too. Enjoy!
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Lesson in Letting Go
" Whether it is anger, guilt, love, loss, or betrayal it is best to let things go and move forward. Change can be difficult but is inevitable. We have a tendency to fight change, to fight against letting go of what holds us back but in all truth we should embrace the change, let go, and move forward. "

This is one of my sketches of my Marko version 2.0 cuz I redid my anime avatar self. :D
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Cloena Riversong
" My scars show my story. They show my struggles in life and my will to keep going. They show that there can be beauty after the pain. That a storm can pass to create a calm world. As a warrior, healer, lover, and fighter I will never be ashamed of ny scars. "

Cloena "Cloey" Riversong is my alter ego. She's a beautiful and powerful woman who stands up for what she believes in no matter the odds. Everyone can reach their goals if they try. :D
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deviantID

Demonflames's Profile Picture
Demonflames
Marko Senryu & Jalicard Senryu
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United States
Two people with fun and creative hobbies.

Marko:
I am an artist and hobbyist photographer lolz So you will find that stuff here mostly, but I am majorly a cosplayer. I love my cosplays and love getting pics of cosplays. I'm still kinda rough in the artist stuff but I do try and add sketches and doodles once in a while when I can.
Interests

It’s been some time since I’ve done this.

I don’t really know where i’m going.

Where the start truly is.

The ending is far out of reach.

I just know I need to write this.

My heart is set on it.

As if something has possessed me to get out a story.

A poem.

This tale that has long since been locked up.


To tell you the truth… I don’t really know who I am.

Everyone is supposed to have that label of a name.

My name doesn’t fit me though.

My mother named me Ashley because she didn’t want me to grow up with an uncommon name like hers.

But the thing is, I always envied her name.

It was unique.

It was beautiful.

Yet, she thought it was something annoying.

Or at least, that’s how it always seemed.

Sure, people always said her name wrong or spelled it wrong.

Do you know how many different versions of the name Ashley there are?

How many different spellings?

None of them.

Not one.

None did I ever feel connected to.

My name is where it began I guess.

At least… to a certain degree.


I was taught at a young age that different was okay.

Something we don’t see near as much in this world anymore.

I was taught that it was okay to be a girl and not want to wear makeup.

That it was okay to be a girl and want to make mud pies.

To want to wrestle with the boys.

To want to dress like the boys.

Sure I was put in those flowery dresses and cute overalls that most girls wore as kids.

But I still got to be in the clothes that fit me.

The ones that made me comfortable.

I got to be me.


Me of the past… more power to you.

I don’t really remember who ‘me’ is anymore.


My dad gave me my middle name.

Leoti.

Unique.

Different.

He told me that it meant prairie flower.

Something you should know, though.

There are a multitude of different prairie flowers.

I looked it up once.

That name, when younger, told me it was okay to be free.

That I didn’t have to be just one person.

I could go find who ‘me’ really was and change as many times as I wanted.


I didn’t see my dad a whole lot growing up.

I won’t go into the details.

I don’t really know all of them anyways.

All I know is that I never stopped thinking about him.

That I always wondered how he was.

What his life was like.

I would send prayers to him to wish him good days when I was a kid.

Back when I still believed heavily in prayer.


A name with many spellings.

A name that meant something that happened to have many forms.

I had so many options.

Yet I still lost who ‘me’ was.


Sometimes we meet people that change our lives forever.

Sometimes those people just pass through.

Sometimes they come and go.

Other times.

Other times they stay for a lifetime.


I’ve met people in all those categories.


High school.

High school is kind of a mystery.

Parts of it I can remember so vividly.

Small parts of it that is.

The rest… I have to look through old photos and videos to click my memories back on.

Like they don’t want to be remembered.


I made great friends in high school.

Don’t get me wrong.

A lot of them though.

Fit into the first and second category.

None really were that lifetime level of friend.


After I graduated.

Even during graduation.

I was numb.

I lost my son in a miscarriage.

I lost myself to sex.

To pills.

To a knife that never felt sharp enough.

I lost myself to so much bad.


I couldn’t handle who I was.

I felt disgusted with myself.

The way I looked.

The way I thought.

The way I dressed.

The way I behaved.

It was all so disgusting.


So I’d take more pills.

I’d drown in my sorrows.


But nothing worked.


I started writing when I was ten years old.

Sounds silly to jump back to that but trust me, there’s a reason.

When I was ten I would write short little poems.

Silly little stories.

Things to get me through the pain of having moved once again.


When my senior year of high school was closing up.

When graduation was closing in.

When the loss and pain came crashing down.

I picked up my pen and began writing again.


I wrote it all out when nothing else worked.

In poems.

In song lyrics.

In journal entries.

I just kept writing.

Anything to distract myself.

Anything to make the numbness come back.

To make the pain go away.


Just as I’m writing now.

Telling my story so many years later.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.


So high school.

Good old high school.

My senior year was when I dated the man who would have been my son’s father.

Prom night.

That same year.

I broke things off with him.

Prom night.

Two months after I lost my son.

I’d gone damn near catatonic.

Unresponsive to normal things.

Hell.

Most of my senior year is blacked out of my memory.


Graduation.

Two weeks after prom.

I wasn’t really there.

I remember walking across the stage.

I remember my photo being taken.

I remember throwing my cap in the air.

I don’t remember much else.

I don’t try to.

I wasn’t myself at all.

I was the farthest thing from ‘me’ that I could possibly get.


That summer though.

I met a beautiful being.

She was just passing through my life at that time.

Just a short time in person.

Yet I knew who she was.

She was my Princess.

Come to help me re-establish myself.

Just not at that time.


She knows who she is.

She had shorter hair then.

Still wore guy clothes.

Living the lie she was forced to live.

Just as I had conned myself.

Into the lie of a life that I’d been living.

That first meeting though.

I knew she was going to impact my life.

That she was one of those rare people.

Those beautiful souls that help you get to a better place.

In mind.

In body.

In spirit.


I didn’t see her after that.

Not for many years.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.


After that encounter.

I began to question my ideas on who and what I really was.

My life as I knew it had changed.

My perspective changed.

I had changed.

Yet I still wasn’t the ‘me’ that fit the puzzle.


You know that phrase?

“You’re the piece of me I was missing.”

That phrase that couples say a lot to each other?

I agree and disagree with it.

Broken people.

Those like me.

Those like my Princess.

They have many missing pieces.

You find those pieces through the people you meet.

The ones that really alter your perception.

That shift your point of view.

Just enough.

So that you can see something you may have overlooked.


My Princess returned a piece to me.

Neither she nor I had realized at that time.

She gave me a piece titled “Realization.”


Foolishness.

Ignorance.

So much of that over that next year.

I met a sneaky Fox.

A clever Fox with a silver tongue.

He was skilled.

Would feed you honey with one spoon.

Then poison with the other.

But you’d never even notice.


I didn’t.

And just like my Princess.

That Fox returned to me a missing piece.

I never stated the people who give them.

Were just people of good natures.

He gave me the piece titled “Survival.”


That Fox conned me.

I lost three years of my life.

I thought I was in love.

Maybe I was.

Maybe my foolish brain thought I was in love.

That’s what those chemical signals were right?

Love.


I hated myself.

I fell into my depression so hard.

So fast.

So painfully far.

I just spiraled back down.


The Fox didn’t care.

We got married.

We moved away from all I knew.

I gave up my job.

My last name.

My heart.

My sanity.

All for something I thought was love.


I was wrong.

I was so very wrong.

I slowly wasted away.

Attempts at walks together got dashed.

Attempts to have simple conversations failed.

My only solace was my computer and my books.

And eventually my cats.

I cleaned the house.

Did the laundry.

Did the dishes.

No ounce of respect.

No amount of thanks.

Not even an inkling of love left in him.

Foxes are clever like that.


I was ashamed.

I was in pain.

I felt like I’d done something wrong.


“It’s my fault this isn’t working.”

“He’s had a long day.”

“Maybe he just needs his space.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t talk to him.”

“When I talk he always gets mad.”

“It’s my fault.”

“My fault.”
“MY FAULT!”


Those thoughts would invade my mind.

Night after night.

The pain never ceasing.

The emptiness growing larger.

The ache becoming unbearable.


So I became what the Fox wanted.

He wanted a clean home?

I cleaned it.

He wanted sex in the middle of the night?

I gave it to him.

He wanted to play games in silence?
I let him.

He wanted to be with his friends?
I let him leave.

He wanted me to drink with his friends?
I did so.


I became obedient.

I became a trophy wife.

I was no longer a human.

Just a possession.


To this day I’m still ashamed of this.

I don’t really know if I could forgive myself.

But the past is in the past.

It is written in the stones behind me.

I walk on blank stones and make new memories.


I wouldn’t give up that part of my life though.

During those three years I dealt with the Fox.

I met some more beautiful people.

Three that helped me survive.

Two that saved me.


I met the Opal, the Mermaid, and the Creator.

All three gave me back missing puzzle pieces.

All three helped me survive in some form.

The Opal gave me hope.

Though she would never realize this.

The Mermaid gave me new life.

Something I had needed.

The Creator gave me a voice.

Something I'd lost long ago.


Through them I began to recreate who I wanted to be.


I then met a Huntress.

She returned a piece of my puzzle to me.

She had an artistic eye with many talents.

She pulled me from the clutches of the Fox.

Helping me remember my worth.

If only for a short time.


I had changed.

I was awkward.

Hiding from everyone behind my computer screen.

Putting my nose in my books.

Sleeping longer hours than I should have.

I just...

I wanted to get far away.

From everyone.

From everything.


“I mean… who truly wanted me anyway?”

“I’m just a broken toy, right?”

That’s how I continued to think.

For weeks.

For months.

Even today that thought will come back.

Just not near as often.


Through her I met the Hound.

Artistic as well.

Different talents.

Different tastes.

She helped me remember my love of art.

My love of writing returned soon after.

She returned another piece of my puzzle.


It was with these puzzle pieces that “Marko” was born.

Marko is a variation of Marcus.

It is related to Mars, the Roman god of war.

It was my way to show I was ready to fight.

I was ready for the long battle ahead.


I headed to the coast.

An old friend brought me in.

But a friend it turned out she was not.

She was a Two-Face.

She’d pretend she was your friend.

Then stab you in the back.

Maybe even in your face.

She and her family sent me away.


From almost having to live on the streets.

To getting in a car with my suitcase full of my minimal belongings.

I was saved by a Russet Wolf.

Now I’m sure she doesn’t see it that way.

But I do.


The Russet Wolf gave me a home.

Gave me time.

She asked little of me.

Coaxed me a bit to talk to people.

To go outside.

To return to what was real.

She’d pull me from flashbacks.

From nightmares.

She gave me a motherly love that I wasn’t used to.

I loving heart that terrified me.


She’s still in my life now.

She’s one of the few people that make it better.


Through staying with the Russet Wolf.

I met the Alchemist.

At least that’s what I’ll call him.

I had met him before staying with her.

But through staying with her I had gotten to really know him.

He was kind.

He reawakened my more spiritual side.

The night we went to that bonfire.

Where I got to see those people dance around the fire.

Sage brushes in hand.

Giving offerings to the flame at the end.

I will always remember that as one of my best nights.

The Alchemist returned a piece to my puzzle.


After them came the Supernova.

He was a bright flame.

Full of passion.

Full of love.

Had a grand imagination.

We fought.

We loved.

We never truly parted though.

This brilliant Supernova gave me back a puzzle piece.

They also helped me reignite my heart.


I stayed on the coast for a while.

I met other people.

Learned a few new skills.

However…

My heart still wouldn’t balance out.


I returned to the midwest.

To my hometown.

Where I’d lost my son.

Where I’d met the Fox.

The place where some of my darkest memories.

My darkest moments.

Where all that waited to reawaken.

To haunt.

To torment.


In all of this.

I lost myself even more.

I was falling into old habits.

Pain pills.

Alcohol.

The knife that was sharper than it seemed.

My mind was spiraling again.


“Who am I?”

“What is my purpose?”

“Why am I here?”

“What do I want to become?”

“Who do I want to become?”


These questions continued.

Over and over.


The days were tough.

Questions running through my head.

Seeing through the lies of my family.

The lies of my friends.

At least.

Those of both who were close by.


The nights were harder.

Flashbacks invaded my dreams.

Boundaries between the present and past would blur.

I would see the Fox.

Even when he wasn’t there.

I would see the Two-Face.

Despite knowing she wouldn’t dare come here.


I would wake up screaming some nights.

Other nights I’d jolt awake.

And for just a moment.

I’d see the Fox hovering over me.


I reconnected with my Princess.

We traded stories.

Telling of our hardships.

Of our triumphs.

She’d finally begun to embrace the woman she was.

I was so proud of her.

I was still struggling with my own identity.


My thoughts had been torn asunder.


Half the time I was fine.

I was thinking about work.

I was thinking about my novel I desperately wanted to finish.

I was thinking about my family.

About my friends.

About what few good things I had in life.


The other half of the time.

My mind went to dark places.

It would think of death.

Of how to kill me.

Of how to harm others.

Of how much I needed to be locked up.

In an insane asylum.

In a prison.

Maybe in both.


I started going into therapy.

There I met the Swan.

She was kind.

Patient.

Observant.

Had a sense of humor.

Forced me to change my perspectives.

She returned another puzzle piece to me.


I saw her for months.

I uncovered lost memories.

I cried sometimes in her office.

I ran from some topics.

But she would push.

Just as she was meant to.

I learned a lot from her.


The seventh anniversary came.

That time when my son would have had a birthday.

That time when we’d be shopping for school supplies.

Getting him new clothes.

A new backpack.

Maybe a new toy if he was good.


I cried for hours that day.

I’d been out of therapy for a while.

I’d been away from a lot of good things.

But I managed.

I fought to stay okay.

If only barely.


I met my Bard.

He terrified me when we first met.

Too nice.

Too kind.

Too generous.

Too perfect.

“Perfect is a trap.”


That’s how my mind read it.

I shut down around him.

A lot of times I did so without meaning to.


But then it got close to Halloween.

My favorite holiday.

My mind instantly went dark though.

“Another year without your son.”

My mind dropped that on me.

I began to spiral once more.


The Russet Wolf noticed it.

The Alchemist noticed it.

The Hound noticed it.

The Supernova noticed it.

They tried to reach out to me.

I wasn’t very easy to reach.

I busied myself.

Distracted myself.


The Bard began to really notice the change.

I was forced out of my shell.

I was pulled into gentle arms.

He helped me calm my storm.


Through the Bard I saw a new world.

I saw endless possible futures.

Good futures.


However.

My mind saw the bad ones.

Just as easily.

Just as quickly.


That’s when the Wanderer resurfaced.

He showed me cool images from his travels.

Shared his ideals.

His way of life.

Through him I began to find new life.

New meaning.


But nothing good lasts long for me.

A bad pattern of mine.

Possibly self-inflicted without meaning to.


I spiraled.

Flashbacks became more frequent.

The Fox reappeared too much.

The Bard had to pull me to the present.

Snap me out of my relapses.


I felt too dependent on the Bard.

I was conflicted by him.

“Why do you stay?”

“Please don’t leave me.”

“He’ll throw me away too.”

I was torn by these thoughts.

Terrified of what had been done to me till now.

Waiting to see what happened.


My Princess kept reappearing.

So did the Huntress.

Even the Hound.

Both the Russet Wolf and Alchemist too.

The Wanderer never truly left either.


Just like them.

The Bard stayed too.


Through those amazing people.

As well as others not quite listed.

I have begun to change my perspective.

I have embraced my differences.

I still have no true label.

Ash is a placeholder.

Marko is the artist I am.

I don’t think there will ever be a label for me.

Then again…

Why should there be?
I have two options people can call me by.

Ash, the short version of Ashley.

Or Marko.

People can choose for themselves.


I am who I am.

That is my true label.

“I am who I am. That is all I am.”

Nothing else will truly fit me.

Not for my creativity.

Not for my more guyish apparel.

Not for my unique outlook.

Just “I am who I am. That is all I am.”


Wanna know a secret?

That’s okay.

That can be your label too.


© 2018 by Ashley L. Vernon aka Marko D. Cabcoon


PS - This is a story you may very much share with others. That is the purpose of this tale.

Comments


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:iconlunarblossom:
LunarBlossom Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist
Why hello AWESOME! *stalks*
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:icondemonflames:
Demonflames Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well hello right back!!! :D
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:iconlunarblossom:
LunarBlossom Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist
lol XD hope you don't mind me!
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:icondemonflames:
Demonflames Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Always glad to have extra company ~MDC
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:iconstarsetred:
StarsetRed Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
OH HEY FRIENDO, I moved to yet another account. lol
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:icondemonflames:
Demonflames Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Lol I shall now stalk you once again xD
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:iconstarsetred:
StarsetRed Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Wooo! :iconlawooplz:
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:icondemonflames:
Demonflames Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
hahaha
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:iconrosedelivery:
RoseDelivery Featured By Owner May 13, 2017
:iconrosedelivery:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
:iconcakesgosupernova: has sent you a rose
just because you’re you!
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:icondemonflames:
Demonflames Featured By Owner May 14, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Nyaaaahhhh!!!! :iconcakesgosupernova: thank you!!!!
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