All posts by Ater Imber

Ater Imber became interested in writing fan fiction in 2013 after being talked into giving the Deviant Art website a chance. Ater began posting to the delight of Supernatural fans and continues to write new fan and non-fan fiction stories with regularity for an eager personal following. Ater also currently has four novellas available for purchase. 'First Try' is Aters’ debut, non-fan fiction novella, and is the newest released. It’s a collection of short stories Ater wrote during school after getting serious about becoming a writer, book-ended by the two ‘long’ first stories Ater ever wrote, published November, 2018. Ater’s third fan fiction novella, 'Holiday Treats', is about the holidays, forbidden love, and what can go wrong when the two collide, published in December 2016. Ater’s debut fan fiction novella, 'Don’t Get Caught', is a collection of short stories centered around a love theme, published in February 2016. Last, but certainly not least, Ater’s second fanfiction novella, 'Melting Hearts, Sunburns and Tanlines' is a collection of short stories with a main theme surrounding going on vacation and love, published in August, 2016. All three of Ater's fanfiction novellas are based on the T.V. series Supernatural. If you’d like to check out Ater’s books, you can do so here: http://aterimber.com/writing/books/ Ater Imber lives in Toronto, Canada.

Last Post of 2018

This is the last post of the year!

I’m taking a vacation starting today (Dec. 17th), and I won’t be back until Feb. 1st, where there will be a brand new TAF waiting for you. (Feb. 8th) Don’t worry though, I’ve already uploaded this years’ holiday fics. You can find them, as well as other fics here.

I can’t believe it’s already the end of 2018! Wow.

What a year, huh? I started a Subscriber List, started a new vegan series, got new/more merch in my Zazzle shop and published my debut, non-fanfiction book! (Which is 50% off until Jan. 4th!)

And, that’s not even counting the Vegandale Festival I went to in the summer. So much has happened!

I can’t believe how much this site has grown in just two years’ time. It was really only last year when I had decided on focusing on the website. And now look at it – it’s amazing to see the difference.

See for yourself:

AterImber.com - Bloggy - Original Website Design

I know, it was pretty bad, right? That was called the Aladdin theme. (In case you were wondering) And that terrible, terrible very first Don’t Get Caught cover… *shudders*

Needless to say, I’m very proud of how far it’s come since then. And it’ll only keep getting better!

I have some new things in the works for you guys, including new merch, my second non-fanfiction book, and more! Sign up for my subscriber list (linked above) to keep up to date with all the news.

One thing I’d like to do is to try moving farther from fanfiction for the Throw Away Fics. I’d like to start posting more non-fanfiction short stories, with the exception of posting fanfiction on holidays. So that will be one change you can expect to come.

All the content on the site will stick to the posting schedule it’s already on, so there’s no need to worry about that.

For simplicity sake, here’s the schedule:

TAF: Every 2nd Friday (starting Feb. 8th, then Feb. 22nd, etc.)

Articles: Every 2nd Monday (beginning Feb. 11th, then Feb. 25th, etc.)

Product Reviews: 13th of every month

And of course, none of this would be possible without all you guys out there who read/visit the site. I want to thank all of you so much for your support of what I’m doing.

That’s pretty much everything, I believe. Oh, during my vacation from posting, I will still be posting on social media, so feel free to follow me if you’d like to keep up with all the holiday baking/cooking/etc. I’ll be getting into. (You can follow me by clicking on the I’m Over Here Too! icons in the left side-bar)

Okay now that’s everything.

I hope you guys all have a wonderful, relaxing holiday season, and I’ll see you all in 2019!

Countdown

Happy New Year!

This is the last fic of the year! Next fic will be posted Jan. 11th

NFF

Words: 826


Okay, tonight’s the night, we’ve been dancing around each other all year, he felt his palms get sweaty as he tried to psyche himself up, starring at the girl from across the room. It’s New Years Eve for Christs’ sake, people always kiss on New Years… don’t they? He took a deep breath, wiping his hands on his pants, okay, here we go.

He took a step forward, before being stopped by his – extremely drunk – friend, Pete.

“Hey, Dave!” even over the blaring music he could tell his friend was yelling, “You kiss ‘er yet?”

The brunette promptly smacked his hand across Petes’ mouth and dragged him a few feet away, shaking his head, “Can you keep your voice down?”

Pete nodded, eyes wide with surprise. He removed his hand, before immediately looking back at the girl. Pete turned to look before letting out a huff, “You ain’t just gonna stare at ‘er all night, are ya?”

“No,” Dave shifted his weight, “I’m gonna kiss her. At midnight.”

“At midnight?” Pete let out a bark of a laugh, “That’s some rom-com shit, ya know that?”

“No it’s not,” He crossed his arms over his chest, feeling his cheeks heat up, “People kiss at midnight all the time.”

“Yeah,” Pete swayed slightly on his feet, wrapping an arm over his shoulders’, “If they’re goin’ out, maybe. Not out of the blue. That’s just weird,” he took another swig from his cup, looking at the girl with a sigh, “Kissin’ a stranger at midnight… pfft…”

Dave chewed his lip, maybe he’s right, maybe… wait, why am I taking his advice? He flicked his eyes back to his friend, “How would you know?”

Pete blinked in confusion, “Huh?”

“How would you know what’s weird? You’ve never kissed a girl before.”

“Dave, my man,” Pete turned so he was standing directly in front of him, “Ya don’t gotta kiss ‘em to do other stuff,” he wiggled his eyebrows, shit-eating grin splitting his face, “know what I’m saying?”

“Ugh,” Dave pushed his arm off him, “You’re disgusting.”

Pete shrugged, stumbling away, “But I’m right!”

“Here we go everybody!” The whole place went silent and everyone turned their gazes’ to the clock, “10!”

Dave shook his head, it’s almost midnight already? Shit. He took a deep breath before starting toward her, here goes nothing.

 

 

She spotted him halfway across the room, starring at her. She quickly looked away, unable to help but smile, please come over, please come over, please come over…

“Hello? Emily?”

She turned back to her friend, hiding the blush by taking a drink, “Sorry, what?”

Lola rolled her eyes, “Of course you weren’t listening,” she flicked her eyes over to the boy before sighing, “This is getting ridiculous. Just go talk to him!”

“I can’t!” She crossed her arms over her chest defensively, “We haven’t really talked all year and then suddenly I want to kiss him at midnight? It’d be too weird.”

“You what?” Lolas’ face lit up, “You want him to kiss you at midnight?”

“What? No, I didn’t-”

“Shay! Katy, get over here!” Lola all but pulled their two friends to the ground with her force, “She wants him to kiss her at midnight!”

“Aaawww!”

Emily sighed, oh great… all three girls starred at her expectantly, “… Must we?”

“Yes.”

Emily shifted her weight from one foot to another, “It’s not a big deal.”

“Of course it’s a big deal!” Katy shrieked, “Your first kiss ever is on New Year’s Eve at midnight?” she touched her heart, “It’d be so cute!”

Emily pretended to vomit, before giving her a pointed look.

“Oh, come on, Em,” Shay gave her a pointed look, “You can’t act like you aren’t excited.”

“Yes, I can.”

“Here we go everybody! 10!”

“You’re allowed to get butterflies when you like a boy, y’know,” Lola placed her hands on her shoulders, dropping her voice, “You are a girl.”

“9!”

“Get off of me,” she slipped out from under her hands before shrugging, “I don’t know why you guys are making such a big deal about this-”

“8!”

“We haven’t even talked the whole party, and it’s practically midnight. It’s not gonna happen, so just forget it.”

“7!”

The girls’ faces fell but they all nodded. They all wrapped her up in a hug, and she fought the sudden wave of sadness that washed over her.

“6!”

Emily shook her head, trying to shake the sadness away as she turned her attention to the clock, “5!”

Guess there’s always next year.

“4!”

She felt a tap on her shoulder, heart stopping as she saw Dave, oh my God, oh my God, oh my God. “Uhm… hi.”

“3!”

“A-are you okay? Do you need something?” She swore she could hear her heart hammering against her chest.

“2!”

He took a deep breath, before nodding to himself. He grabbed the sides of her face, sending a shiver down her spine, oh my God…

“1!”


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Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup Review

In keeping with the cold-outside/winter is coming weather, I decided I’d go ahead and do a review of a classic cold weather food: soup!

If you saw my Surprising Vegan Soup collage, then you’ll hopefully have stocked up on some delicious soup to keep you going long after the holidays are over.

This is also going to be the last Product Review of 2018! (They will continue to go up on the 13th of every month)

Okay, without further ado, here’s the Habitant Garden Style Vegetable soup review.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup - vegan, food review

The first thing I want to address is how f*cking big of a can of soup this is. Seriously. They’re 796ml – that’s easily enough for two bowls of soup. (Maybe even three) Why does Habitant only make such giant cans of soup? They’re usually located on the bottom-er shelves in the soup aisle because they’re so friggin’ big. I don’t know why exactly they make cans of soup for giants, but I’m 100% here for it. I like that this can offers a lot of soup, especially because it’s pretty cheap. You get a lot of soup-per-dollar.

One thing I don’t like about this soup isn’t even related to taste – it’s that there’s no tab on the top to open it. Look, I understand that not every can needs a pull open tab, but (especially because the can is so big) having the tab on the top would make it much easier to open without taking the entire top off, so you can close the lid back down and save it for later, instead of having to pour it out into a container. It’s not that big of a deal – I remember back before those easy-open tabs weren’t even a thing – it’s just something to keep in mind.

In terms of cooking, it’s really easy. Just open, heat on a stove (or in the microwave if you do that sort of thing) and serve. Very simple process. Even people who can’t cook can do it. This also bodes well if you’re really sick and would like something easy and fast to make, so… two birds?

Now, for the actual taste, it’s… soup. If you read my Amy’s Alphabet soup review, you’ll know that I’m not really that big of a fan of soup – I don’t know what it is, I just prefer my meals to be solid.

I don’t hate soup, I just would rather eat say… a sandwich instead. Soup is weird though, you’ve gotta admit that. It’s closer to a beverage then a meal. They should start selling soups in juice containers. That would also make it easier to save some of them for later, so there you go. Take note Soup World.

I don’t want to knock this soup – especially because it’s one of the few that aren’t marketed as being vegan that we can eat – but there’s honestly not too much to it. It tastes exactly how you would expect it to: like vegetables in some broth. It’s not overly salty like I’ve had in some other soups, and it doesn’t taste too watery either. It’s well balanced in terms of it’s flavours, and it has little grains of I think rice (or really tiny pasta shapes) in it as well. That helps fill you up better then soups that don’t have pasta/rice in them, in my opinion.

Other then that, I don’t really have too much to say about this product. It has vegetables in it (so it’s good for you!), is very easy to make, and comes in one of the biggest cans of soup I’ve ever seen. It’s a triple threat!

All in all, I’d recommend you check out/try this product. It won’t exactly blow you away with how amazing it is, but it doesn’t suck. And, especially if you have a hard time finding specifically labelled vegan products where you are, this can I’ve seen pretty much in every store I’ve been in. So it should also be easy to find.


Need help finding more products to stock up with in the winter? Check out my Surviving Canadian Winters post.

Like the review? Check out more here!

Surprising Vegan Soup

Hey!

Sorry this post took so long, but I was having… technical difficulties waiting for companies to reply to e-mails. (If you follow me on Twitter, you know what I’m talking about)

Anyway, that’s also why I listed Amy’s Kitchen, because even though they’re marketed as being vegan (and are therefore not really ‘surprising’) I had to include them due to the lack of response from other companies about their products. I may or may not update this post with the new products once I hear back.


Winter is coming!

And what better way to prepare yourself for the upcoming -40 blizzard weather then with some pre-made soup?

Answer: There isn’t. Except for maybe also stocking up on some hot chocolate.

That’s why I’ve decided to make this Surprising Vegan Soup Collage, so that your shopping trips are that least bit less irritating. I know I don’t like coming in from outside, freezing cold, and then get sweaty standing in the aisles of stores because you’re reading ingredients on products.

Also, with the holidays coming up, you’ll want to save as much of your stomach room as possible for the festivities. These soups aren’t too filling, inexpensive and last a while on your shelf. (So you can have them stocked for that mid-January holiday burnout)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Surprising Vegan Soup - vegan, food, soup

From the top left-hand corner, the soups in this collage are:

  • Habitant Garden Style Vegetable
  • No Name Rich and Chunky Vegetable with Pasta
  • No Name Tomato
  • No Name Vegetable Broth
  • Lipton Cup-A-Soup Spring Vegetable
  • Presidents Choice Hearty Vegetable and Navy Bean
  • Amy’s Kitchen Light In Sodium Minestrone
  • Amy’s Kitchen Light In Sodium Lentil and Vegetable
  • Amy’s Kitchen Split Pea Soup
  • Amy’s Kitchen Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable
  • Amy’s Kitchen Chicken Noodle
  • Amy’s Kitchen Black Bean Vegetable
  • Amy’s Kitchen Minestrone
  • Amy’s Kitchen Vegetable Barley
  • Amy’s Kitchen Lentil Vegetable
  • Amy’s Kitchen Alphabet
  • Amy’s Light In Sodium Split Pea
  • Amy’s Light In Sodium Lentil Soup
  • Campbell’s Soup at Hand Garden Tomato
  • Mr. Noodles Mushroom
  • Mr. Noodles Vegetable
  • Knorr’s Vegetable Bouillon Cube
  • Compliments Vegetable Instant Noodles

**As always, these products being vegan is specific to Canada. Ingredients may differ from country to country.**

In my research, I also discovered that Campbell’s has a line of soups called Well Yes! (US only). The ones that are vegan from that list are:

  •  Campbell’s Well Yes! Harvest Carrot and Ginger Sipping
  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Lightly Salted Santa Fe Vegetable
  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Red Bean and Vegetable
  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Chickpea and Roasted Red Pepper
  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Italian Vegetables with Farro
  • Campbell’s Well Yes! Hearty Lentil with Vegetables

And there you have it! 23 soups you might not of known were vegan – completely by accident! You should be able to find these in any ‘regular’ grocery store. (I believe No Name might be a Canada-only brand)

Have an idea of a Surprising Vegan food group I should tackle? Leave it in a comment below!


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Stay That Way

This is this years’ Christmas/holiday fic.

On Dec. 14th I will be uploading a New Years fic, and then the last post of the year on the following Monday. (Dec. 17th) I will then take a two week vacation from posting, and will return in January! (I’ll explain more in the post on Dec. 17th)


Wee!Chesters

Words: 2,111


“… What are you doing?”

“Uhm…” Sammy’s eyes went to the ground, cheeks flaring, “nothing.”

“Nothing?” Bobbys’ eyebrows went up, “That’s an awfully loud nothing,” his eyes drifted to the lump under the covers on the bed, “a pretty big lump, too.”

The kid swallowed thickly, eyes darting to the lump before back to the father-figure standing in the doorway, “W-what lump?”

Bobby chuckled, holding up his hands, “Okay, okay. Well you just let me know if you need any help with that nothing.”

“… Okay.”

Bobby re-closed the bedroom door, shaking his head as he made his way down the stairs, what is that boy up to? He went out to the backyard, picking up the paint spray gun and mask, just down burn down the house.

 

 

Bobby awoke startled, hearing a loud crash from the kitchen, what in the hell…? He was out of his chair in an instant, stalking his way over to the kitchen doors, hand on his gun, mentally running through the salt-line check he’d done before falling asleep.

He opened the door and sighed in relief as he saw the five-year old jump up from the floor.

“Jesus, Boy, you almost gave me a heart attack,” he leaned himself against the door, eyes roaming over the flour-covered counter, “Whatcha doing, Sammy?”

The brunette swallowed thickly and ‘hid’ a cookie sheet behind his back, eyes threatening to spill over with tears, “… Nothing,” at the mans’ eyebrow raise he sighed in defeat, bottom lip poking out, “I-I’ll clean it up…”

“Clean up?” Bobby craned his neck a bit so he could see over the counter and noted the un-cooked cookies that littered the floor, “Now why would you do that?”

Sammy blinked in surprise as Bobby got an apron out of the closet, “… What?”

Bobby’s heart broke, John what the hell have you done to this boy? He took the cookie sheet from the child and placed it on the counter, before winking, grabbing the mixing bowl, “We can’t let you destroy the kitchen for nothing.”

 

 

“Wow,” Sammy was practically laying on the counter, watching the cookies cool on a wire rack.

Bobby chuckled as he washed the last of the dishes, “You’d think you’d never seen a cookie before.”

“I’ve seen cookies,” he rolled his eyes, “I just can’t believe I made these!”

“Hey, what am I? Chopped liver?”

“I know you helped but still…” he reached out to touch one, recoiling as it burnt his finger, “These look like real cookies. Like the ones you get at a store!” He turned to the older man, “I can’t believe we turned eggs and milk and all that stuff into these! It’s like magic!”

Bobby did his best to hold in his laughter, “Yeah, cooking is pretty cool.”

“Definitely,” he tilted his head a bit to the side, “… can making cookies be a job?”

“Yep,” Bobby leaned against the counter, taking a swig from his beer, “They’re called bakers.”

“Really?” his eyes went wide and he gave a thousand-watt smile, “That’s so cool! Do you think…” he bit his lip and averted his eyes, smile fading, “Do you think I could do that?”

“’Course.”

“But won’t Dad-”

“It doesn’t matter what John says,” he narrowly stopped himself from hitting the counter, “I mean,” he took a deep breath, “you should do whatever you want to do. Don’t worry if John doesn’t understand. Do what makes you happy.”

Sammy nodded before turning back to the cookies, “I want to make these every day!”

Bobby smiled, going over to ruffle his hair, “Then you do that.”

Just then, the boys heard a rumble from outside, the Impala.

Sammys’ face lit up again and he practically jumped off the counter, running to the front door, “They’re back!”

The brunette sped to the front hall before – much to Bobbys’ surprise – bee lining for the stairs, bedroom door slamming shut. Bobby looked after him for a moment before shaking his head as the front door opened, John bursting in, Dean in his arms.

That can’t be good, Bobby went to the kitchen, fetching the first aid kit, coming back as John placed Dean down on the couch. His face was set in a scowl, and he was covered head to toe in a mix of dirt and blood. Dean had a deep gash across his head that was oozing blood, glad Sammy decided to go upstairs.

“What happened?”

John shook his head, “He didn’t want to list-”

“John,” Bobby shot him a look as he pushed him away, kneeling down and beginning to clean the boys’ wound.

John let out a breath, running a hand through his hair as he began pacing, eyes on the ground, “I told him not to go after it.”

“That’s great,” Bobby pushed the gauze harder against the wound, not liking that Dean didn’t even flinch, “What else?”

“What does it look like?” Johns’ hands balled into fists at his side, “The thing flung him halfway across the room, he only stopped cause he hit a wall. Head collided with the corner of a table on the way down.”

Bobby closed his eyes and grit his teeth, “He needs to go to the hospital.”

“No.”

“John-”

“I said no!”

“Do you want him to die?” Bobby stood, turning angry eyes on the other man, “Cause that’s what’s gonna happen if he stays here.”

John blinked in mild surprise, “You can’t stitch it?”

“He’s unconscious.”

John took a step toward him, getting close enough Bobby could smell the whisky on his breath, “Can. You. Stitch. It?”

Bobby used all the strength he had to not punch him in the face, “No.”

“Fuck,” John blew out a breath, eyeing his son, taking a small step back, “I don’t know what to do.”

“Go to the hospital.”

“We can’t.”

“Why?”

“I’m still wanted for that skin-walker job, remember?”

Bobby grit his teeth, closing his eyes for a moment to think, “Fine. I’ll take him, you stay here with Sammy.”

John paled a bit at the mention of his other son but nodded. He watched as Bobby picked Dean up off the couch, helping to load him into the truck. Bobby hopped in before giving John a death glare, “Do not tell him about this.”

 

 

“Seriously, Bobby, I’m fine,” Dean swatted at his arm as he was easing himself out of the truck.

“Oh yeah, you pass out from blood loss and get a concussion every day,” the older man gave him a pointed look and kept his arms out for support.

“Pfft, you know what hunting’s like,” Dean successfully stood on the ground, and blinked, swaying slightly on the spot, “It’s always dangerous.”

“You’re not your father, Dean,” Bobby shut the truck door and trailed behind the blonde as they made their way to the front door, “also, you’re nine.”

“Exactly,” He climbed the steps, leaning heavily against the banister, “Time for me to grow up.”

Bobby rolled his eyes and unlocked the door, holding it open for the blonde, not surprised to see John was no longer in the living room, big surprise.

“Dean!”

A mess of brown hair launched itself at the blonde, nearly knocking him over. He caught Sammy easily, plastering a smile on his face, but Bobby didn’t miss the flash of dizziness.

“Wha-? Who’s this?” he brushed some of the hair from his brothers’ eyes, “Oh, Sammy! There you are!”

The youngest giggled and Bobby was amazed at how quickly the elder could switch into Big Brother Mode. He began walking them over to the couch, “So, Sammy, what have you been up to?”

The youngest looked like he was going to explode, “I made you something!” his expression fell as he noticed the bandage on the blondes’ head, “What happened?”

“Eh,” Dean waved a dismissive hand, “I’m fine. What did you make me? Is it…” he looked around the room, pretending to think, “A Tickle Monster?” he then threw the five-year-old onto the couch before all but tackling him, tickling his stomach.

The youngest let out a loud squeal, doing his best to wiggle away. John came out of the kitchen at the yell, and Bobby was mildly surprised to see he had showered. He hung back as he saw what was happening. The eldest Winchester leaned against the doorway next to Bobby, small smile on his face.

Sammy began gasping for breath after a few minutes, face going red.

“Dean.”

At the sound of his fathers’ voice, Dean immediately stopped, smile fading and he practically jumped up from the couch, puffing his chest out. A soldier ready for duty. Sammys’ gasps had also died down, eyes going straight to the floor, as if he were ashamed.

“Sammy,” Bobby nodded toward the kitchen, “why don’t you go get what you made Dean?”

He nodded, smile reappearing before zooming back up the stairs.

Dean turned confused eyes to the other men, “What is it?”

Bobby shrugged, “Last time I saw it, it was a giant lump under the covers.”

A small smile graced Deans’ face, and his cheeks flushed.

They saw the youngest stop at the top of the stairs, whatever it was carefully hidden behind his back, “Close your eyes!”

Dean rolled his eyes before closing them, “Okay! They’re closed!”

“I don’t believe you!”

Dean huffed, before opening them, giving Bobby and his father a look, “Little help?”

Bobby smirked, giving him a pointed look, “Well?” the blonde re-closed his eyes, “They’re closed, Sammy!”

The men watched as the youngest did his best to walk down the stairs without holding onto the hand rail. Whatever he made was big enough it needed his two hands to carry. He got to the bottom and carefully walked himself over, bringing the gift – that was carefully wrapped in red and white Christmas paper – out from behind his back.

“Hold out your hands,” upon doing so he placed the present in them, and chuckled as Deans’ arms fell a few inches, pretending it was heavy, “Okay, open.”

The blonde opened his eyes and let out a whistle, “You wrapped this?”

“Mhm,” Sammy was beaming, bouncing slightly where he stood, “Open it! Open it! Open it!”

“Okay, okay, geez,” Dean made his way back over to the couch, placing the present down on the coffee table.

He began unwrapping it slowly, brows knit together wondering what could be so heavy, before revealing a cardboard box.

He turned to his brother, “Wow, Sammy, it’s uhm…”

The youngest rolled his eyes, giving his brother a slight push, “It’s in the box, Dean.”

“Oh, right. I knew that.”

The blonde took his switch blade off his belt to open the box, prying the top open and peering inside, before letting out a small gasp. He reached into the box carefully, pulling out what looked to be a Lego version of their fathers’ Impala.

He turned his eyes to his brother, “What…? How did you…?”

“I built it!” Sammy was bouncing up and down, “I took all the black Legos I had from my other sets and built it,” he flung his arms around his brother, “Now you have one, too!”

“I can’t believe this…” Deans’ eyes drifted back down to the present he was holding, face stunned, “This is… amazing, thank-you.”

“Is that what you were doing up in your room all week?”

The youngest gave Bobby a nod before turning back to his brother, “You like it?”

“I love it,” Dean held the car up to his face, inspecting it, “You even got the license plate right!”

“Good job, Sammy,” Bobby went to sit on the arm of the couch, “Now that kitchen mess makes more sense.”

“Oh!” Sammy smacked his head, before running into the kitchen, “I forgot the best part!”

Dean starred after him, “There’s more?”

Bobby winked, “I helped with this part.”

The youngest returned a moment later with the cookies he and Bobby had made, placing the plate down on the table next to the car.

Dean looked over the cookies and chuckled, “Are these supposed to be us?”

Sammy nodded his head excitedly before removing one of the door Legos from the side of the car, placing one of the cookies into the driver side, “Look! They fit inside, too!”

“Wow, Sammy, that’s so cool!” Dean wrapped his brother up in a bear hug, “You’re one smart kid, y’know that?”

“I know!”

“This is great, Sammy,” he turned his eyes to the plate of cookies, eyes widening slightly, “I just have one question.”

“What?”

His stomach grumbled then, as if on cue, “Does that mean I can’t eat the cookies?”


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Puppy Love

Prompt from Rebekah: (17.11.13): Dean ‘saves’ puppy from streets. Sam can’t believe it but it makes him happy – Sam ends up taking care – Dean cuddles and pictures

Sorry this took me forever (and that I veered off the prompt), but I hope you liked!

Gen. Sam/Dean.

Words: 1,075


“Hey, uh, Dean?”

“What?” The blonde came around the corner to see Sam standing with his back to the door, his hands on hips, “Jesus, Sam! You couldn’t have showered first?” Dean covered his nose with his shirt, almost gagging on the post-run Sam stench.

“What the hell is this?” The giant half turned to face the elder who’d stopped in the doorway.

“What’s-” The eldest cut himself off as he was knocked to the floor by a pile of fur and slobber, “Cassandra!” He chuckled as the dog continued her assault on his face.

After the warm welcome he received the dog sat down directly in front of him as he climbed back to his feet, tail making a dull thud, thud against the floor.

Sam cleared his throat and raised an eyebrow expectantly, “Well?”

“… It’s a dog,” Dean patted her head before moving to the couch, the dog following obediently, “I thought you were supposed to be the smart one?”

Sam rolled his eyes, “Yeah, I can see it’s a dog. I mean why is it here?”

“Oh… y’know…” The eldest rubbed a hand at the back of his neck, “She,” he sighed and shook his head, “she peed on my car.”

“… So you decided to bring her home?” Sam moved to follow his brother, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

“Look, I just…” he bit his lip and turned his eyes toward the furry being, starring up at him with her big eyes, “I tried shooing her away, but she didn’t listen. I opened the door and she just hopped right in like she owned the place. I figured, if I was gonna be stuck with her, I might as well feed her. She really needed it, too,” he pet her head softly, “You should’ve seen her, Sam, she was all skin and bone.”

Sam raised his eyebrow, “I thought you didn’t like dogs?”

Dean stood, hands balling into fists at his sides, “So what? You think I’d just let her starve to death?”

“Wha…? No, of course not! I was just surprised.” Sam eyed his brother, why are you being so defensive?

The blonde noticed the look on his brothers’ face and scoffed, before heading off into the other room, Cassandra following suit, “Leave it alone, Sam.”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“Good,” his brother stopped in the doorway, “Take a shower, will ya? We’re already gonna have to burn the couch!”

 

 

Sam stood under the spray of the water, gears in his head turning, why is he so obsessed with keeping the dog? He soaped up his body, turning so the water cascaded down his back, you’re using it – her- to fill something, I just don’t- his eyes widened as he made the connection, Cassandra! You’re using her to replace Cas!

“Well look who finally made the connection.”

The voice made him jump and rip the curtain open, eyes wild until he spotted the blonde perched on the toilet seat. Sam tilted his head to the side, allowing the water to wash the soap from his chest, leave me alone.

“C’mon, Sam. We never talk anymore,” the giant stiffened as he saw the devils’ shadow get up and make his way to the curtain, “we gotta make the most of our alone time.”

You’re not real, you’re not real… He pressed on the scar on his palm, squeezing his eyes shut. He opened them and sighed in relief as the devil was nowhere in sight. He finished his shower quickly and toweled off, swinging the bathroom door open, stopping in the doorway as he saw the dog a few feet away, just starring at him.

“What the hell?” He walked a few paces closer, hoping to get to his bedroom, when it started growling at him, “Uh… Dean?”

“What?”

The giant got closer to the dog, and it got up, before barring its’ teeth at him, beginning to growl. Sam stopped cold, halfway to his bedroom, what the hell? He held his one hand out, but dropped it back to his side when the dog began barking, “Dean?”

His brothers’ head poked out from around the corner, and immediately the dog ran over to him, demeanor changing completely. The blonde laughed and began petting her, while raising an eyebrow at his brother.

Sam stood there, shocked, “… Did you not just see how angry she was?”

“Angry?” His brother looked between the happy, tail-wagging dog and his brother for a moment, “…. This dog?”

“Yes, Dean, that one,” he took a step forward and the dog moved in front of Dean, beginning to growl again, “See?”

“Whoa, what did you do to her?”

Sams’ jaw dropped, he thinks I did something to her? “Nothing! I just came out of the shower and she was sitting there watching me.”

“Pfft,” Dean waved a dismissive hand, “She’s probably just protecting me.”

“Dean, I’m your brother,” he took another step toward the pair, ignoring the volume increase in the dogs’ growls, “she doesn’t need to protect you from me.”

Dean eyed him before disappearing around the corner, returning a moment later with a container of water, and a silver knife.

Sam snorted, “Dean, what…?”

His brother shrugged, handing the objects out to him, “Dogs are good at telling if a person is a threat.”

“Dud, c’mon, it’s me.

“She didn’t have a problem with my brother when he came back from his run.”

I’m your brother.”

“Prove it,” he wiggled the items in his hands.

Sam ran a hand through his hair, before grabbing the items, “Fine.” He took a swig from the holy water before pressing the silver knife against his forearm, raising an eyebrow at his brother, “Happy now? It’s still me.”

“Christo.”

Sam rolled his eyes before looking back to his brother expectantly.

“Okay, fine, you’re you.”

“Thank-you,” he went forward a few more steps and the dog began barking, “Dude, seriously?”

Dean shot her a look and she ran down the hall, stopping around what sounded like the front door. The blonde turned back to his brother with a smirk, “What can I say? Chicks dig me.”

Sam rolled his eyes as he made his way to his room, “Just train her.”

Dean gave a half-smile and shrugged, “Who woulda guessed?”

The giant stopped in his doorway, giving his brother a look.

Dean chuckled as he walked away, “Looks like your bad luck with women isn’t exclusive to humans.”


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Gardein Turk’y Cutlets and Gravy Review

Apparently American Thanksgiving is coming up (Nov. 22nd – two days after First Try comes out!) so I thought this month, I might as well review a Thanksgiving related food. Enter: Gardein Turk’y Cutlets.

I’d like to start this review out with a sort of disclaimer: as I’ve said in other posts, before going vegan, I was pollotarian, which means the only meat I ate was poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.). I’ll admit, I like the taste of chicken the most out of meats. So, during these reviews, most of the products I try will most likely be faux poultry, or, if they seem skewed in that if/when I do review faux beef/pork/etc. product, I might not like that as much as some of the faux poultries, take my opinion not as gospel.

Okay? Okay. So, let’s get started.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Gardein Turk'y Cutlets - vegan food

I’m not gonna lie, these cutlets taste like their Mandarin Orange Chick’n Nuggets and their 7 Grain Crispy Tenders – pretty plain tofu/seitan with breading. I find that – out of the Gardein faux meats I’ve tried – all the faux poultry kinda just tastes the same, with an exception to different breading. Which is fine – I like that taste, so it’s all good.

But the gravy… it tastes like turkey. Not like, ‘oh, it’s sage’ – no. This gravy tastes straight up like turkey. My meat-eater friend confirmed – this tastes like they used real turkey drippings to make the gravy. If this gravy didn’t come out of a Gardein pack, and was just sitting on the table/otherwise handed to me by somebody else, I’d assumed they made a mistake and gave me non-vegan gravy.

And, while I understand wanting to make vegan food that tastes like meat, to me, I just… I don’t know how to feel about this. It tastes a lot like meat gravy, so much so, I got that wretch in the pit of my stomach, because that smell is associated so much with the dead body of a turkey. It was a bit off-putting, to say the least.

I’m one of those vegans, who is okay with eating plants that taste like plants – if it’s close in taste, I’m all for it. When I get skeptical/uneasy, is when it tastes exactly the same. Give me a mushroom burger that tastes like mushrooms, I’m happy. I actually like the taste of plants, so that doesn’t matter to me. (I touched on this more in my Beyond Burger review)

Obviously, if you’re someone who enjoys vegan food tasting near identical to the real thing, I’d say go for it. I’m not going to not recommend something just because it tastes too ‘real’. Also, it’s not even that – this product is good, the chick’n itself tastes like their nuggets, so you could even just use the cutlets without the gravy packet, if that’s something that would freak you out.

I’d say, if you are going to try the gravy, do so more then once – after getting over the initial shock of how close it tastes your brain calms down and it really does start to taste like sage.

All in all, I’d recommend this product, with probably just a word of caution about the gravy. It can throw you if you’re not expecting it, but you shouldn’t let that stop you from trying an otherwise good product. I know I, myself will definitely buy this product again in the future, (just as I did with the Beyond Burger), but I would do so with the expectation of knowing what I’m getting. I think that would help your first taste-test go well, too.


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Top 3 Tips to Running Your (New) Website

Running a website is hard as sh*t.

Especially if you choose to post… oh, I don’t know, let’s say roughly five times a month.

Before I had started my website, every article I read basically said the exact same thing: posting once a month is more then enough. Once a month? How am I supposed to build a following if I only post once a month?

I can see now that… well, not that I was wrong, but I was pretty naïve to think that I knew better then other professionals. My thought process was something akin to, ‘a month is a long time, I can definitely post every week and be fine.’ So that’s what I did at the very beginning.

Posting every single week got old/infuriating real fast. I felt like I was losing my mind, having to constantly be preparing the next post, worrying about how was I going to tackle the vastly different topics that interested me, and perhaps the worst of all – it didn’t leave me any time for continuing with my books.

Needless to say, that was not a good way to run my website, nor a good way to keep my sanity in check. It took me probably the better half of 2017 to get into a groove and set myself a schedule for what was to be posted when. I still struggle with the system I’ve put into place sometimes – we all know how life likes to ruin our plans – so while I haven’t quite perfected the art of managing my website – and it’s not even close to being everything I want it to be – I’ve definitely learned a lot in the process.

This article is to share 3 tips I wish I’d known when I was starting out.

 

  1. Start with One Idea

This is probably one of the hardest things I had to learn when I was starting out. I had been ‘planning’ all the different elements/topics I wanted my website to have, so when I finally went for it, I was all over the place. One week I’d post a TAF (short story), the next I’d post a recipe, and still another would be a product review. There was absolutely no structure, and it was driving me crazy flipping back and forth each week between different ideas.

One thing I wish I had read/or heard, was this: Your website will expand. It takes time to establish a website from nothing. You have to pick things like layout, theme, how you want it to look, and that’s all before you start adding content. Your best bet when you’re just starting out is to focus your energy and time on one thing – preferably the main thing you’d want the website to be about – and only post that.

You may feel like you’re limiting yourself, since you’re bursting with ideas about this and that, but trust me – focus on one thing, and get yourself to fall into the pattern of posting that one thing. Remember, you can always add more once you’re more established. Give yourself time to get used to having a website before you try to go whole hog.

 

2. Pick a Posting Schedule (That You Can Realistically Keep Up With)

Give yourself a posting schedule that you think you’ll be able to stick to. It doesn’t have to be just once a month, it could be more, or less then that. When you’re just starting out, I’m sorry to say but no one is looking at your website yet. Now is the time to experiment and find what works for you. Before you begin to build a following, and especially before people start expecting you to post in the schedule you’ve set.

Give yourself enough time between posts that you’ll be able to do the following three things:

  • Write the post that needs to be posted
  • Write the next post (or at least, have the idea)
  • Have a personal life (hang out with friends, be able to go to family functions [like holidays], have a few ‘off’ days, etc.)

Let’s say you tell yourself you’ll be able to post each week. Will you have enough time in one week to come up with an idea for next weeks’ post, while simultaneously writing this weeks post, and still be able to go to grandma’s birthday/Christmas, etc.? Also, if you’re too stressed, feel like you never have a day off, and are constantly wracking your brain for the next idea? You need to dial back your scheduling.

Remember, you can always add more things to post later. You don’t have to come out of the gate doing everything all at once.

You gotta walk before you can run.

 

3. Plan Your Posts

It sounds simple, and yet… it can be one of the hardest things to do. You don’t want to wake up on your posting day with an ‘oh shit, I don’t have an idea for what to post today!’

True, you could always just skip that day, and get yourself ready for the next one, but, you’ll want to get yourself into the habit of not skipping posting days. Since your website is still new, and you’re still getting used to having it, you’ll want to be able to schedule your time so you’re able to do your work and still have fun. Think of it like you’re forming a new habit – you gotta find ways to incorporate it into your already established routine, without disrupting the rest of your life.

I’m assuming you didn’t quit your day-job while you’re starting this website, so let’s pretend you just got in from work, perhaps you have kids who need to be fed/put to bed, or a pet that needs to be taken care of – next thing you know it’s 11pm, you’re just about to collapse into bed when you suddenly remember: you were supposed to post something to your website today. You begrudgingly drag yourself to your website, and double-check and it’s just as you thought: no posts were scheduled, and you don’t have any finished/ready to post.

Now you have to spend your precious sleeping time thinking/writing/editing and finally posting an article to your website.

Enter: Planning.

You have a schedule you want to stick to – awesome! Now it’s time to put it to good use, and start planning out the posts you want to put up on those days. For simplicity sake, we’ll just use my posting schedule for this example. Which is every two weeks, and the 13th of every month.

This past Friday (Nov. 2nd) I posted what I call a Throw Away Fic, (which is just a short story), and today (Nov. 5th) I posted this, which internally I just call an Article. Next thing I need to post this month is a Product Review, which I do on the 13th of each month.

After that, my next two posts are:

Nov. 16th: Another TAF

Nov. 19th: Another article

I try to alternate my article content between writing tips and veganism, as these are the prime two other things I post, excluding the Throw Away Fics. Back when I was first starting my website, I had sat myself down and wrote out a list of all the possible article topics I wanted to post, and saved them to my computer. Now, I go to that list and plan out my next few articles, usually till the end of the month.

Organization is key here. I know it’s not fun, and is probably one of the least fun parts of having your website, but this saves me from having those last-minute freak outs of not having content, and not having an idea for content, too. I try to schedule out my articles at least one month in advance.

My TAFs are a bit of a different story. Last time I’d counted, I had roughly 60-something short stories that I could finish and post. I schedule those, but sometimes, plans change. For example, if a holiday is coming up, I will write a new TAF specific for the holiday, and leave the scheduled one to be posted at a later time. I don’t always know exactly which story idea I’ll be posting – sometimes it’s one of the ones from The Vault, and sometimes it’s new stories I write on my commute – but I try to get it done/scheduled at least the week before it’s supposed to go up.

Planning out your posts can put your mind to ease and not make you feel like you’re scrabbling each week (or month) to get a post to your website. This will also allow you to actually schedule the posts in your website.

In WordPress, when you make a new post, it enables you to Post Now, or you can schedule the post for a later date. This is extremely helpful when life decides to get in the way, and you’re not able to make it to a computer to manually post your article on your scheduled day – you can set it to go up automatically.

It may seem like a small thing, but it can be a life saver, especially around the holidays, when you’re pre-occupied with holiday-related worries. This gives you one less thing to try to remember after you finish cooking/hosting/buying presents, etc.

And there you have it. My top three tips of website running help I wish somebody had told me when I was starting out. It will take some time for you to adjust your schedule no matter how much of your time you commit to your website, so if you hit a few bumps along the way, don’t get discouraged – that’s just part of doing something new.


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Candy Coma

Words: 1,122

Wee!Chesters


“You can not where that.”

Sammys’ face fell, and he took the dollar store fangs out of his mouth, “B-but why?”

“Pfft, what do you mean why? Because we-” Dean caught himself. He took a moment, raking his brain for an acceptable excuse, and gestured vaguely at the costume, “It’s… y’know…”

The youngest frowned and looked down at himself, hands tightening into fists around the cape, “It’s the only costume we have.”

“Sorry, Sammy, it’s just…,” he strode a few paces to one of the beds, trying to swallow down the guilt he was feeling, “Dad would freak if he saw it.”

“Why?”

The blonde flopped himself down, starring at the ceiling while letting out a heavy sigh, “Cause, Sammy he just…” how am I supposed to explain this without telling him? “… doesn’t like Halloween.”

“But why?”

“Because he just doesn’t, okay?” Dean waved a dismissive hand toward his brother, “Now, go… do whatever it is you do.”

His brother cast his gaze to the floor, hands wrapping the cape tighter around himself, “But you said we could go Trick Or Treating.”

Dean ran a hand through his hair, tugging on it, damn it, “I don’t know if I want to go. I’m tired.”

“… You said we could finally go this year.”

“I know, and now I’m saying I don’t wanna,” he paused, lifting his head to look at his brother, “It’s not like the people here will have candy, anyway.”

“But… but,” the disappointment in his brothers’ voice pulled at his heart strings, “You promised!”

Dean shook his head, flopping it back against the pillow, “I know I promised, but things change,” he sat up, “Did you really think Dad was gonna let you go anyway?”

The youngests’ eyes were brimming with tears, bottom lip quivering. His brows creased in anger, hands falling away from his cape, before he stamped his foot, “Fine!” and made a beeline for the bathroom, slamming the door behind him.

Dean rolled his eyes and got off the bed, padding over to the bathroom, “C’mon, Sammy, don’t be like that.”

“Go away!”

“Sammy-”

“Leave me alone!”

Dean crossed his arms, leaning against the wall next to the door, “What’s your plan here, exactly? Lock yourself in the bathroom and miss Halloween altogether?”

“… It doesn’t matter!”

The blonde closed his eyes and failed to swallow the lump in his throat at his brothers’ tone – it was obvious he was crying. He sighed before turning his eyes to the clock, 7:30pm, he knocked softly on the door, “Dude, if you don’t come out of there you are gonna miss it. It’s already seven-thirty.”

“I don’t care!”

Dean huffed in annoyance, “Fine! Stay in there all night, then! See if I care! But when Dad gets back, you’re gonna have to explain to him that I stayed behind and we didn’t end up going out!”

“Fine!”

“Fine!” The blonde stomped away from the bathroom, grabbing his coat off the bed, “If you’re just gonna stay in there all night,” he stomped to the motel door, hand on the knob, “then I’m gonna go out and have some fun! Alone!

 

 

Stupid Sammy, Dean kicked at a rock as he walked down the street, why does he have to be such a brat all the time? He crossed the street, taking out a cigarette, and lighting up, he should’ve known- Deans’ head whipped up as he heard the familiar rumble of the Impala, shit, he stamped out the cigarette as the car came into view.

He turned on his heel and ran as fast as he could back to the motel, praying to whoever was up there that he’d be able to beat his father home.

 

 

“Sammy?” Dean burst through the door, thanking his lucky stars his dad stopped at that convenience store, eyes immediately scanning the place for the mop of messy brown hair. “Sammy?” His heartbeat was in his throat as he searched the small room, not finding his brother. Shit-shit-shit-shit, where would he be? He knows better then to go out alone.

He surveyed the area, making sure his brother wasn’t there, before turning back to the door, surprised to hear a key in the lock. Damn, that was fast. What the hell am I supposed to tell Dad? He backed up a few steps, stealing himself against the giant as the door opened.

“Sammy?”

The brunette beamed at his brother, struggling with a large pillow case, that was practically overflowing with candy, “Look, Dean! I got so much!”

“That, uh, that’s great, Buddy,” Dean eyed the pillow case, eyebrows shooting up as he saw full-sized chocolates, “Where did you get these?”

His brother dumped the candy out over one of the beds, not looking up, “Here.”

“Here?” Dean was confused, he didn’t think people at the motel would’ve had candy.

Sammy shrugged without looking up, “Yeah, they felt bad because I had to go Trick or Treating alone… and since a lot of them didn’t think they’d get kids here, they had to give me candy out of the vending machine.”

You clever little… Dean whistled, impressed with his brother. He went over to the bed, looking over everything he’d got, “You’re one smart kid, you know that?”

Sammys’ grin widened as he climbed on the bed, beginning to sort out his candy, “I know.” Dean reached for one and was surprised when his brother slapped his hand away. At the look he gave him, the brunette shrugged, “You didn’t come with me, you don’t get any.”

“Wha-?” Dean eyed the pile, going to sit on the edge of the bed, “You can’t seriously- ”

Just then, John burst through the door, looking pissed. He was almost caked in mud from head to toe. He sighed heavily as he kicked the door closed, carefully taking his jacket off. He kicked off his boots before glancing at the boys, eyes widening as he saw his youngests’ spoils.

“Wow, Sammy, you did good tonight, huh?” John glanced at the other bed, pausing, “Dean… you didn’t get any candy?”

Dean shrugged, trying to calm his beating heart, “I’m too old for that, Dad.”

“Oh…” John gave a half smile before moving to the bathroom, turning the shower on.

“Can’t I just have one?” Dean leaned over the bed, doing his best puppy-dog eyes.

“Hmm,” his brother brought a hand to his chin, pretending to think, “Nope.”

“Dude, c’mon. There’s no way you can eat all that by yourself.”

Sammy picked up one of the bigger chocolate bars, not breaking eye contact with his brother as he took his time taking the wrapper off, bringing it to his lips, mischievous grin on his face, “Watch me.”


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Why Jigsaw Isn’t Actually A Horror Movie Villain

Chucky, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Scream – these classic horror movies have one thing in common that, when put against Saw, well, something just seems off. I’ve heard many people complain about the franchise as a whole. People say that it’s not good, doesn’t deserve to be on lists with other classic horror movies, etc. and, they’re right. But not for the reason they think.

People get so irrevocably enraged when they see Saw in lists with other classic horror movies. But why?

Because John Kramer isn’t actually a horror movie villain.

Okay, that may not be their reason, but it’s mine.

And here’s why:

(Spoilers ahead – read at own risk!)

1. He’s Never Actually Killed Anybody

Whether you hate, love or love-to-hate the franchise, you can’t deny that, upon watching the eight (yes, eight) movies, you never actually see John Kramer stab/shoot/behead or otherwise kill a character on screen with his own two hands.

He puts his subjects in games and always gives them a way to survive. It’s not shown once that John Kramer himself straight up murders anybody. That’s one of the biggest differences between him and the classics.

The closest John gets to actually killing somebody would be in the first movie, two detectives are about to arrest John, when, he slashes Detective David Tapps’ throat. He does this in a bid to escape, (which works), and though it’s never outright said whether done on purpose, Detective Tapp survived the attack.

 

2. He Doesn’t Condone Murder, Either

There’s a scene in the 3rd Saw movie where it’s revealed that one of his disciples, Amanda had killed someone who had survived one of the traps. At this point, John tells her, he ‘despises murderers.

In the same movie, Amanda designed a trap to kill Detective Allison Kerry. John again, tells her, ‘I selected you for the honour of carrying on my life’s work. But you didn’t. You didn’t test anyone’s will to live. Instead you took away their only chance. Your games were unwinnable, your subjects merely victims.

John also voices his thoughts on intentionally killing again in the 5th movie. John is talking to Detective Hoffman, who had killed a man in a Saw-style trap. John took issue with the fact Hoffman hadn’t given the victim a chance to escape (much like Amanda), as evident by the following:

J: ‘They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I find it somewhat distasteful to be given credit for work that’s not mine. (Holds up newspaper with the headline ‘Jigsaw Killer Responsible for Pendulum Murder’) Especially inferior work. …Vengeance can change a person. Make you into something you never thought yourself capable of being. But unlike you, I’ve never killed anyone. I give people a chance.’

 

3. The Whole Point of The Games Is Rehabilitation

This is something that John has said multiple times throughout the movies, whenever someone asks him why he does what he does, or what the point of it is. These movies aren’t slasher movies! He takes no pride when the people in his traps die, and he doesn’t want them to.

Here are just a few quotes (not including the ones from above) from the man himself on his work:

  • It was the police and the press who coined the nickname Jigsaw. I never once encouraged or claimed that. The jigsaw piece that I cut from my subjects was only ever meant to be a symbol that that subject was missing something. A vital piece of the human puzzle. The survival instinct. (Saw 2)
  • You can dispense justice and give people a chance to value their lives in the same moment. (Saw 5)
  • Until a person is faced with death, it’s impossible to tell if they have what it takes to survive. (Saw 6)
  • Once you see death up close, then you know what the value of life really is (Saw 6)

There are many other quotes, but I feel these are some of the best to represent the point he, and I, am trying to make. He’s not a stone-cold killer – he hates murderers! He believes that if you push a person to the limits, they will have a newfound respect for their life. And, call me crazy, but I can understand that train of thought. Not saying him putting them in life threatening situations is rational or a good idea – just… I can see the logic.

 

4. When People Pass, He Helps Them

Amanda is probably the biggest example of this in the series. Once Amanda passed her test, he congratulated her on surviving, took her in, and gave her life a purpose. She was lost and he gave her what she needed. She’s the one who kept messing it up. He kept testing her, and she kept failing. He was giving her chance after chance, even admits to wanting to leave his legacy to her but no. She went off the deep end and look what happened, she ended up getting killed because of her choices.

Doctor Gordon is similar. After he passed the test, it was revealed John took him, cauterized his leg and nursed him back to health. Both ended up being so grateful, they wanted to help John continue his work. Because being in the traps gave them a new outlook on life. (Aka, his rehabilitation worked.)

 

5. He Has No Signature Weapon

Freddy has that claw hand, Michael has his machete, Leatherface has a chainsaw, Ghostface uses a knife, Chucky is a doll – all the great horror movie villains have that one weapon you see and instantly associate with them. John… doesn’t. Sure, the traps used in the movies are very specifically his, but he doesn’t stick to one type of ‘killing method’… mainly because his objective isn’t to kill.

Even putting the fact he doesn’t use the traps to murder aside, he’s still used everything from an incinerator (Saw 2) to spraying someone with cold water until they froze to death (Saw 3), to a cyclone powered by a motorcycle (Saw 8). Perhaps the most notable trap used during the series was the reverse bear trap, but not because that’s the one John preferred over the others, or that it was the trap that was used the most – it’s just because it’s really friggin’ cool.

You can’t deny you can’t be a notable villain without having that thing.

 

6. He Tells His Victims How To Survive

He literally tells them, every time without fail what they need to do in order to survive the game. He makes it a point to be the first thing that happens when they wake up: the tape/thing with the rules on it plays automatically. He makes it hard, but fair. They always have a way out, every. Single. Time. The only traps in the whole series that aren’t escapable, aren’t even his! And, once he finds out what they’ve done, he yells/reprimands them and tells them that’s not what they’re trying to accomplish.

In what other horror movie does the killer say, ‘if you run this way you’ll escape,’ or, ‘my weakness is *insert random object*,’ ‘I can’t swim! Better hope you don’t head for the lake!’ No. None of them give their victims a chance. The only objective on their minds is to kill, just because they can.

 

7. He Doesn’t Get Pleasure Out of It

Another classic horror villain thing: killing for pleasure. John would probably scoff at that if someone accused him of such things. Just as he never adopted the Jigsaw nickname, he doesn’t put people in traps for the fun of it. He uses it as a learning tool. (Albeit an extreme one) When the people in the traps don’t make it – though he left it ultimately up to them – it’s not hard to see he even looks sad when they don’t make it. You can see it pains him that they didn’t have what it took to survive. Though it’s never outwardly said in the franchise, you can tell in his face when they talk about victims not making it, it pains him.

 

8. He Doesn’t Use His Back Story as an Excuse

Let’s be honest, losing your unborn son and then learning you have inoperable cancer has got to suck, but all things considered, he handles his past pretty well. He doesn’t burn down a school because people were mean to him *cough, cough* Carrie! *cough cough*, he doesn’t blame a voice in his head for making him murder, and he most definitely doesn’t pin his kills on avenging his mother.

It would be so easy for someone as smart as John to use the traps for straight up murder, or, even screw the traps and just go on a killing spree like other horror villains, but, instead, he allows his past to give him a new purpose. He instead, dedicates his life to helping other people. He openly tells people throughout the series his beliefs and what he plans to do. He’s never dishonest or lies to the people in the traps to get what he wants. He omits certain truths, or withholds certain information, but never straight up lies. He doesn’t need to.

 

9. He’s Got a Plan (And Doesn’t Deviate)

If you’re not on his list, you’re most probably safe. He doesn’t suddenly switch targets because that person happens to be closer/easier to kill then the one he was planning on getting. He doesn’t distract himself with people not already on his radar. He’s got a very concrete plan in his head of how everything’s going to go. His plan even accounts for when his disciples inevitably differ from what he expects them to do. He’s ready for it. He’s anticipated every possible angle and outcome and is rarely (if ever) surprised/caught off guard during the series.

Throughout the series, and, perhaps one of the coolest parts about it, is that it’s revealed everything ties together in the end. Even characters you had no idea even knew each other all had an affect on the events that transpired. It’s one of the things I hands-down love most about the series.

10. He Doesn’t Hold Grudges

Most (not all) of the notorious big baddies in horror movies all have the same M.O: Revenge.

You could argue that John does get revenge by placing the people who he feels have wronged him/their mistakes somehow affected his life in his games, but he doesn’t do it from a selfish stand-point. He doesn’t put you in the game unless you deserve to be there. And, almost all of the people he puts in there belong. Throughout the movies it’s always explained, even the seemingly random people at the beginnings who die before the title shows up – throughout each movie, (if you pay attention) they reveal how all the characters are connected. It’s actually one of the cooler aspects of the movies.

 

So, whether you love, hate, or love to hate the Saw franchise, I hope this list has helped you realize that John Kramer doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Freddy, Jason, Chucky or the rest of the horror movie baddies.

He might be a bad guy, but there’s no denying he’s just not a bad guy.