Tag Archives: halloween

Candy Coma (Preview)

Written On: 18.11.02-03

Words: 1,122


“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!”


Continue reading here!

Surprising Vegan Chips




In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d put out the next Surprising Vegan article. I know that you can eat chips all year round, but since I already did a Halloween candy post, and chocolate one, with the addition of chips, you can have the most rockin’ Halloween party snacks around.

No more sitting in the corner crying because there’s ‘no vegan food’ – with this series, carnists have zero excuses.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Series - Surprising Vegan Chips - vegan food, chips

In order starting from the top left corner, clockwise:

  • Neal Brothers Easy Rounders
  • Neal Brothers New Classics
  • Neal Brothers Pure Pink
  • Neal Brothers Pure Pink and Vinegar
  • Neal Brothers Sweet and Smoky BBQ
  • Neal Brothers Maple Bacon Forever
  • Neal Brothers Srirachup
  • Neal Brothers Deep Blue
  • Neal Brothers Deep Blue Flax
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Late July Resturant Sea Salt
  • Late July Resturant Lime
  • Late July Purple Corn
  • Late July Chia and Quinoa
  • Late July Cantina Dippers Blue Corn
  • Late July Cantina Dippers White Corn
  • Late July Sweet Potato
  • Late July Sea Salt
  • Late July Red Hot Mojo
  • Late July Sublime
  • Late July Bacon Habenero
  • Late July Jalapeno Lime
  • Late July Sriracha Fresca
  • Late July Blues
  • Late July Crispy Yellow Corn
  • Lays Oven Baked Original
  • Lays Salt and Vinegar (Blue Bag)
  • Lays Classic*
  • Doritos Ketchup
  • Doritos Sweet Chili Heat
  • Old Dutch Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Original
  • Ruffles All Dressed
  • Ruffles Original
  • Tostitos Multigrain
  • Tostitos Restaurant Style
  • Tostitos Scoops
  • Tostitos Rounds
  • Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Veggie Chips
  • Pringles Ketchup
  • Pringles Original

*Lays Classic is made with pork enzymes in the US, making them not vegan. However, in Canada they don’t, so they’re safe to consume. Check out the US list here (at the time of writing, I’ve only been able to find a Canadian and US list, I’d suggest contacting the company for other specific countries)

This list (as well as this series) is always for Canadian ingredients – ingredients may differ (and therefore products may or may not be vegan) in differing countries. Please do your own research and look up the ingredients for specified foods for your own country.

This list also doesn’t mention all the marketed-as-vegan chips (like the Que Pasa Nacho chips – I recommend these btw, they’re so good!) as this is the Surprising Vegan series. If you Google ‘vegan ____’ tons of different options come up, but the point of this series is to find non-vegan-marketed foods that are safe for vegans to eat.

There are many instances where known vegan food might not be available, so it’s always great to have a list of foods that you know you can eat that may be easier/cheaper to find.

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.

The Tattoo Killer

This years’ Halloween fic, enjoy.

Words: 3,027


He wiped at the skin one final time, turning his tattoo needle off before inspecting his work. He nodded to himself, perfect. He placed the needle down, before wiping his hands with the rag, moving over toward the sink, half-turning to the girl in the chair, “Let’s get you prepped.”

 

 

“Where is he?” The detective burst through the door, eyes immediately going to the board.

Randy, his next in command, shook his head, eyes not meeting his boss’, “Had the right location , but it looked like we missed him by about an hour.”

“An hour?” The detective scrubbed a hand down his face, damn, “Do we have any leads on a connection?”

“Not yet, but Jims’ working on it.”

Frank nodded, “Good,” he turned from the board to face the other man, “Go get started on tracking down a back-up location. This guys’ on his way to becoming a serial killer, and I’d rather nab him before that.”

Randy nodded before rushing out the door. Frank eyed the board, you’re not getting the satisfaction, fucker.

 

 

“No, please!” The blonde thrashed against the straps pinning her to the chair.

“Sh, sh, sh,” his expression softened as he pet her hair, “Don’t worry, beautiful, I’m not gonna kill you.”

She stopped struggling and glared at him, “Then why am I tied to a chair?”

He tsk-ed before getting up, moving to the tray that held his tools, rearranging some of them, keeping his back to her, “I have something much more special planned for you.”

“Special?” She craned her neck, trying to get a look at the tray in front of him, “W-what are you gonna do to me?”

“Nothing…” he turned from the tray, opting to sit on the stool in the corner, “yet.”

 

 

How are you choosing them? Frank starred at the board, eyes roaming over the descriptions of the two vics – with the exception that they were both women, they couldn’t be more different – different eye colour, hair, height, weight, nationality, social status – everything. He brought his coffee cup up to his lips, why can’t I see it? he went to take a swig, looking surprised when he found it empty. He sighed as he got up, going over to the small kitchenette in the corner, they’re never actually random, there has to be something they have in common. He poured another cup, replacing the pot before heading back to the board, eyes catching as he passed one of the desks. Wait, he picked up a picture of one of his men, eyes instantly going to the tattoo that peaked out of the top of the shirt.

He immediately charged back to the board, eyes roaming over the autopsy photos, while he dug his phone out of his pocket.

“H’lo?”

“Tattoos.”

“… huh?” He heard Randy stifle a yawn, “What time is it?”

“I found the connection,” his eyes were glued to the two girls photos, “each vic had a tat – that’s how he’s choosing them.”

“What kind? A rose? Snake? Butterfly?”

“They’re different pictures,” he studied the photos carefully, “but something about them must bother him. That’s the only connection.”

He heard a sigh on the other end of the line, “Well, it’s not exactly like we can round up every woman who has a tattoo and bring her to the precinct.”

“Any chance Jim is still here?”

“At 3a.m.? I doubt it. But look, Frank, the guys’ not gonna-”

Frank pulled the phone away from his ear, groaning as he watched the low battery sign flash before the screen went black. Shoving it back into his pocket, he studied the pictures of the women, looking between the two tattoos, what am I missing?

 

 

She huffed out a tired sigh, why is he just sitting there? She tried moving again, not surprised when she was met with the binding force of the straps holding her down. I have to find a way out of here, she rested her head against the chair, starring at the ceiling, what am I supposed to- her eyes caught on a drip in the corner of the room, would that work? She turned her eyes back to him, would he buy it?

“E-excuse me, Sir?”

He didn’t bother to turn, rude, “I was just wondering… since we’re not doing anything… do you think I could go to the bathroom?”

“Bathroom?” His back straightened, hands stopping whatever they were doing.

She failed to swallow the lump forming in her throat, “Y-yeah. Y’know, a bathroom? Usually has a toilet and sink?”

He half turned, “Why would you need to go to a bathroom?”

She rolled her eyes, “Gee, I don’t know,” he swerved his stool around to face her, eyes dark, her heart skipped a beat, “I-I need to pee.”

His eyebrows went up, as if he’d never considered that before, this guy kidnaps people and straps them to a chair but doesn’t know what to do if they need to pee? He nodded to himself before getting up, coming over to where she was bound. He grabbed a pair of handcuffs off the tray, before beginning to undo the straps. I can’t believe he’s actually buying this, her heart sped up, beating harder against her chest, now all I have to do is time this right… She chewed her lip as he undid the straps, carefully placing a knee on her as they fell.

“Hold up your hands.”

She complied, getting her good first look at the room as he clicked the cuffs around her wrists. Her eyes immediately went to the tray, hoping for a weapon, but finding small bottles of paint and a needle, is that… tattoo supplies? Her eyes went to the table against the opposite wall, it was littered with drawings, was he… gonna tattoo me? What the fuck?

He roughly grabbed her by the elbow, hoisting her off the chair before pulling her toward the door. They entered a hallway, and she instantly felt the temperature drop, wind, she looked to her left and saw a ladder resting against the far wall, please let that be a door. He shoved her into a small bathroom, standing at the entrance before looking at her expectantly.

She reached for the door, but was stopped by a hand on her wrist, his expression stern, “The door stays open.”

“I can’t pee if you’re watching.”

He rolled his eyes before turning around, so he was facing out into the hall, “Better?”

“Hardly.”

“If you don’t want to pee I’ll just-”

“No! No, it’s fine,” she went over to the toilet, sitting on it, “Just… don’t look, okay?”

“I promise.”

She kept her eyes on him, as she gathered her hair on the top of her head, wrapping it up in a secure bun. Now the hard part, she turned on the seat, carefully lifting the lid to the toilet tank up, don’t drop it, don’t drop it, she got it into her lap and sighed in relief. Okay, she got up, steeling herself against what she was about to do. She could swear she could hear her heartbeat in her ears. Doing her best to keep her breathing even, she got up from the seat slowly, tiptoeing back up to the man, thanking her lucky stars that she had decided on flats that morning.

“I don’t hear any-”

She swung the tank lid at his head, meeting it with a sickening crack. He stumbled forward, hands instantly going to his head. She side-stepped him, hitting him again as he blindly tried to grab for her before she tore off down the hallway, aiming for the ladder. Keep going, keep going, she was panting as she went, practically leaping up the first few steps of the ladder. She climbed up as fast as she could, thankful when she saw it did lead to a hatch door.

She turned the handle and pushed, boulder dropping into her stomach as it didn’t budge. No… c’mon! She turned the handle again, pushing harder against the hatch. No! She began pushing on it with all her strength, hearing the footsteps of him behind her, c’mon, please! Open you stupid thing! Tears began streaming down her face as her chance of escape vanished.

Hearing footsteps approaching, she began getting desperate, slapping and punching the metal of the hatch, willing it to open with every fiber in her being.

“Now why would you go and do a stupid thing like that?”

She felt his hand wrap around her ankle, as she wrapped her hands around the handle, white-knuckling it. He chuckled before yanking her foot away from the ladder, her other foot blindly kicking out at him.

She kept her eyes glued to the hatch, “Help! Help me! Please!”

He pulled her downward again, this time her grip on the hatch loosening, sending her falling down the ladder. No! She began kicking and punching at him, as he pulled her back to the floor, tears streaming down her face.

“Sh, sh,” He wrapped her up, pulling her into his chest from behind, keeping his voice low, “Don’t cry, Doll,” he began rocking her gently from side to side.

She could feel the blood dripping off his face begin to soak into her shirt as he held her, unable to do anything but cry.

“Aw, Babe…,” he reached one hand up to pet her hair as he lifted her, walking them back toward the room she’d woken up in, “Did you really think it was gonna be that easy?”

 

 

“Theresa Mack, 23, found this morning.”

Frank watched as Randy pinned the newest victims’ picture up to the board, knuckles white around the edge of his desk.

“EMTs found a tattoo of Pinocchio sitting on a toilet on her palm.”

“That’s an interesting choice of ink,” Jim chuckled.

Randy turned to Frank, “It was fresh.”

Franks’ eyebrows raised, “What do you mean it was fresh?”

“EMTs estimate the tat was done after death.”

“There goes our theory of him targeting women with tats,” Jim sighed, throwing a file down onto his desk.

Franks’ eyebrows disappeared into his hair, why would you tattoo them after?

“Daddy!”

Frank turned, seeing his daughter run toward him, wife hesitating in the doorway, “Hi, Princess.”

She gave him a toothy grin and all but flung herself at him, squealing in excitement as he picked her up.

“Jim, can you take her to get some food?”

“Uh, sure,” he stood, walking a few steps toward the kitchenette, “C’mon, Kiddo.”

“Pocho!” She grabbed the picture of the third victims’ tat off her fathers’ desk.

“No, Sweety, that’s not,-”

“Bad!” She waggled her finger at him, before bursting into a fit of giggles.

“Sorry,” Jim took her by the hand and led her away.

Frank rubbed his chin, I wonder… “Pinocchios’ nose grows when he lies, right?”

Randys’ brows knit together in confusion, “Yeah, why?”

“What if…,” Frank rubbed his chin, “What if he’s tattooing why he killed them?” At the blank stare he kept going, “Pinocchio could be a symbol for lying, so maybe he killed the third vic because she lied to him about something. What were the other vic’s tats?”

“Uh,” Randy flipped through the file, “First vic had a broken lock over her heart, second was a clock on her wrist.”

“Hmm, so what if the first vic broke his trust somehow?”

“That’d be one hell of a ballsy move, tattooing why he killed them… do you think he’d be that brash?”

“Sir!” Tim burst into the room, looking excited, “We just cracked the first two vics’ phones, they used the same dating app.”

Frank and Randy exchanged a look, “You’re sure?”

“Positive,” Tim took a breath as he handed over the file, “Jane just confirmed it.”

“What do you wanna bet Theresa used the same one?”

Frank tried to hide his smile, “Get Jane to set up a fake account, so we can finally catch this fucker.”

 

 

“Are you sure about this?”

“We’ll be with you the whole time,” Franks’ voice came out of her earpiece as she looked around the restaurant.

“Excuse me, Miss?”

“Time to earn your stripes, newbie.”

Jane turned to see a tall man, blonde hair, blue eyes, standing by her table, “Are you Jane?”

She nodded, standing to shake his hand, “And you are…?”

“Lucas,” he pulled her into a hug, inhaling deeply before letting go to sit down.

He’s already creepy, she plastered a smile on her face and flipped open the menu, “What looks good?”

“Hmm,” he opened his own, eyes skimming the pages, “Perhaps the lobster?”

Jane laughed, “On a first date? Isn’t that kind of,” she paused at the look he gave, “… expensive?”

He raised an eyebrow before reaching into his breast pocket, throwing down a gold credit card, faint smile on his face, “Moneys’ not a problem.”

Jane glanced at the card, keeping her expression as calm as she could, “… Are you married?”

“Of course not,” he narrowed his eyes at her a bit, “why would you ask that?”

Abigail Lawrence,” she picked the card off the table, “That is a womans’ name, no?”

He blinked in surprise, before breaking out into a smile, rubbing a hand at the back of his neck in attempted embarrassment, “Okay, you caught me. It’s not mine.”

“So…,” she placed it back down on the table, “You’re not rich?”

Lucas shook his head, not meeting her eyes, “I was just trying to impress you. To be honest,” he looked around the restaurant at all the other people wearing evening wear, squirming a bit, “All this high class stuff makes me uncomfortable.” He eyed her for a moment, before reaching across the table to take her hand, “Do you wanna get out of here? I know a great pizza place a few blocks away.”

She felt her heartbeat quicken as she nodded, “Sure.”

They left the restaurant, and she shivered. He immediately slid his jacket off and wrapped it around her shoulders, leaving his hands on her as they walked.

“So,” she took a deep breath in an attempt to steady her voice, “what do you actually do?”

“I’m a tattoo artist.”

“Really? Wow, that must be nice. Creating art.”

“Eh,” he kicked at a rock, eyes on the sidewalk, “It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I’m not that good.”

“Every artist I know thinks they suck, I’m sure you’re work isn’t that bad.”

“Yeah?” He gave her a sideways glance, “I actually don’t live that far from here. Would you maybe wanna… see some of my work?”

“Oh, uh,” she pretended to fix her earring, as she adjusted her earpiece, “I’m not sure.”

“Do it. We’ll be outside the whole time.”

“I understand,” he frowned, shoving his hands into his pockets looking disappointed.

“Actually?” She placed a hand on his arm and did her best to keep her skin from crawling, “I’d love to.”

His expression lit up like a kid on Christmas, giant grin splitting his face, “Great, it’s just over this way,” he pulled her into an ally.

“Whoa, what uh,” she lightly pushed against his chest, “What’re you doing?”

“You think I can’t tell?” His expression changed, growing dark as he reached for her earpiece.

“What? No, that’s not what you-”

“Shut up!” He back-handed her, throwing the earpiece on the ground before stomping on it. He wrapped his one hand around her neck, getting impossibly close, evil smile twisting his features, “Now I’m really excited to show you my work.”

 

 

Jane came to, head pounding. She tried to get up but was barely able to get an inch off the chair before she felt the confines of the straps. She rolled her head to the side, seeing Lucas hunched over a table against the farthest wall, back to her.

“… Is this the part where you kill me?”

He swiveled around on his stool, brows’ knit together in confusion, “Kill you? Why would I kill you?”

She surveyed the small part of the room she could see, raising an eyebrow, “Is this not the room where you killed the others?”

“Yes but,” He huffed, turning back around, “They didn’t understand.”

“Understand what?”

“They couldn’t see that-” he cut himself off before turning back, small smile on his face, “Ooohhh, you’re a bad girl. Trying to get me to open up?” He got up from the stool, closing the distance between them, petting her hair, “Your tricks aren’t going to work on me.”

“I’m just trying to make conversation,” she looked down at her body, “since it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing much for a while.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he raked his eyes across her body, “We’ll be busy soon enough.”

A loud bang from above made them both jump, cloud of dust coming out from the ceiling.

“What the hell was that?”

Lucas poked his head out the door, eyes going wide before locking it closed, rushing over to the chair, undoing the straps that bound her.

Her heart leaped into her throat, “W-what are you doing? What’s happening?”

“Sh,” he grabbed her roughly, pulling her off the chair, leading her towards the back wall. He pulled her to his chest, grabbing a knife off the shelf before spinning around to face the door, holding the knife to her throat, “If you scream, you die. Understand?”

She swallowed thickly, nodding while blinking back tears. Frank burst through the door in the next instant, gun drawn.

His eyes swept the room before they landed on the pair, gun pointing at the maniacs’ head, “Drop the knife!”

“Drop your gun.”

Frank went to take a few more steps into the room, stopping when Lucas shook his head, pressing the knife against her throat harder, “Ah-ah. Come any closer, and she dies.”

Frank furrowed his brows in concentration, knuckles white around the base of his gun, “Let her go.”

“Aaaww, but this one is sooo pretty,” Lucas eyed the detective, before pressing a kiss to her cheek, “You sure I can’t keep her?”

“Drop. The. Knife.”

“C’mon! Where’s your sense of-”

Bang!


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Go Max Go Chocolate Review




With Halloween right around the corner, I thought that it would be a perfect time to review one of the best vegan chocolate companies around – Go Max Go Foods. Also, since it’s nearly Halloween, I thought I would do a special review: the chocolate products I’ve tried of theirs in one review. This way, you can have some chocolate along with your candy.

Let’s get on to the first one:

Twilight Bar

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Twilight Bar

Said to be the closest vegan chocolate bar to a Mars, this bar has nougat and caramel and is my favourite of the  bunch! It is so rich, soft and chocolatey it’s seriously drool worthy. The caramel stretches when you bite into it like the cheese in pizza commercials, and that might just be the best thing about this bar.

Oh wait, no – the best thing about it is that the wrapper is purple. And purple’s the magic colour, which is probably why this chocolate bar tastes so good.

 

Cleo’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Cleo's White Peanut Butter Cups

Dude, it’s a white chocolate peanut butter cup. What else do you need?

Only problem? Only two in a pack.

Cleo’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Cleo's Peanut Butter Cups

Like the white chocolate ones, except dark chocolate. Same texture, size and ratio of chocolate to peanut butter goodness.

Buccaneer

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Food Review - Go Max Go Foods - Buccaneers

This one is still good, but it’s too nougaty for my liking. Biting it is like biting into a brick of nougat. And then, the chewing. There’s so. Much. Chewing.

Who knew a brick of nougat would be so dense?

All these chocolates are great vegan alternatives, but the one downside is that they don’t sell them in those giant boxes that the mixes of Mars, Coffee Crisp, Kit-Kats, etc. Come in. I’m sure I’m not the only vegan who would be down for buying a box of these chocolate bars in ‘fun size’, or hell, full size. (Then you don’t have to eat 20.)

They have a few other products I’ve yet to try, (check them out here), but these guys should be your go-to for all your Halloween-y chocolate-y needs.


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Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy

Ah, Halloween.

A great night where kids get to dress up, explore the neighbourhood, and get free candy. Sadly, this night only comes once a year, so you’ve gotta make it count.

If you’re newly vegan, you might be wondering, ‘what are the chances my kid (or yourself) will be able to eat any typical Halloween candy?’ Well, check out the collage below and you’ll see, it’s more then you think. There are plenty of products that are ‘accidentally’ vegan by nature, even though they’re not advertised as such.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Surprising Vegan Halloween Candy - Halloween Candy, halloween, holiday

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Ruffles Original
  • Ruffle’s All Dressed
  • Pringles Original
  • Airheads (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellows 5+6)
  • Pringles Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Ketchup
  • Old Dutch Original
  • Twizzlers
  • Pull N Peel
  • Super Nibs
  • Jujubes (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Hickory Sticks
  • Sweet Chili Heat Doritos
  • Sun Chips Original
  • Lays Oven Baked
  • Lays Salt N Vinegar
  • Lays Classic*
  • Mini Oreos
  • Rockets (In the US, called Smarties)
  • Swedish Fish (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, and Blue 1)
  • Jolly Ranchers (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5&6)
  • Gobstoppers (Carmine Colour, Blue 1&2, Red 40, Yellow 5&6)
  • Mike and Ikes (Red 40, Yellow 5&6, Blue 1)
  • Nerds
  • Pixy Stix
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Maynards Fuzzy Peaches (Yellow 5, Red 40)
  • Maynards Swedish Berries
  • Skittles Original
  • Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters (Contains Tartrazine [Yellow 5])

*Lays Classic is made with pork enzymes in the US, making them not vegan. However, in Canada they don’t, so they’re safe to consume. Check out the US list here (at the time of writing, I’ve only been able to find a Canadian and US list, I’d suggest contacting the company for other specific countries)

As explained in my Candy collage, I’ve listed the food dyes next to certain candies because these food dyes aren’t vegan. It’s a choice you need to make for yourself – where is the line for you? Remember, no Vegan Police are going to show up at your house if you ingest something that has animal by/products in it.

The only downside to this is that pretty much all the chocolate has milk in it. 🙁 You’ll most likely have to buy a vegan brand of chocolate if you want that on Halloween night. I’d suggest Go Max Go they make some great chocolate! I’d also advise not handing vegan-specific chocolates out to Trick Or Treaters, unless you’ve got a money tree in your backyard.


Like this post, or curious to learn more about veganism? Check out my Veg Life page!

Or, click here for even more Surprising Vegan finds!

Surprising Vegan Candy




I’ve decided to turn ‘Surprising Vegan _____’ into a series, since there’s too many things to place in just 1 collage.

So, this week we’ll be looking at Surprising Vegan Candy. These are candies that are vegan friendly (in Canada), even though they’re not marketed as being vegan. (Hence the ‘surprise’)

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Surprising Vegan Candy Collage

From the top left clockwise, this collage includes:

  • Swedish Fish (Red 40, Yellow 5+6, and Blue 1)
  • Twizzlers
  • Jolly Ranchers (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5+6)
  • JuJubes (Red 40, Blue 1 and Yellows 5+6)
  • Super Nibs
  • Maynards Fuzzy Peaches (Yellow 5, Red 40)
  • Nerds
  • Sour Patch Kids
  • Pixy Stix
  • Maynards Swedish Berries
  • Skittles Original
  • Maynards Sour Cherry Blasters (Contains Tartrazine [Yellow 5])
  • Rockets (Called Smarties in the US)
  • Pull N Peel
  • Airheads Originals (Red 40, Blue 1, Yellows 5+6)

Now, you may be wondering, why did I list Food Dyes next to some of the candy? Well, that’s because these food dyes aren’t vegan, since they’re tested on animals, and, Red 40 is made out of crushed cocchineal beetles. ‘But then, why list them on a vegan candy collage?!’ Well, I believe that this might be one of those ‘how far down the rabbit hole’ things. We all know it’s impossible to be 100% vegan already, and while that’s certainly not an excuse, I want to throw the choice to you. I’ve seen some vegan products that have the food dyes listed, so the choice is yours. It’s hard enough already to find ‘regular’ food that vegans can eat, don’t make it harder on yourself.

Eating some candy once in a while  won’t make the Vegan Police show up at your house and revoke your vegan card. Do I wish that these candies didn’t have the food dyes? Yes, of course. Am I guilty of still eating some of these candies on occasion? Yes, I am. While I do my best to completely avoid Red 40 (since, y’know it’s literally crushed beetles), I don’t agonize over the fact if I eat candy (whether intentionally or by accident) that have the other dyes in them. That doesn’t make me less vegan, and it won’t make you, either.

We don’t live in a society that caters to vegans, and, should you be in a pinch, or not able to make it to your favourite vegan store to stock up on ‘real’ vegan candy, it’s nice to know what ‘regular’ candy you can pick up without stressing about it, especially, say for Halloween, when you need to pick up a giant pack of candy for cheap (let’s face it, vegan candy is pretty expensive), these are regular candies that are sold in bulk, that you shouldn’t feel you need to completely get rid of.


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Satanic Mechanic

A Halloween fic.

Title based on the line from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Finished: 17.10.23

Words: 2,271

NFF


“Damn it!”

She kicked the car out of frustration and sighed, running her hands through her hair, of all the days, you decide to crap out on me now? She pulled her phone out of her pocket and held it up, searching for a signal.

“Great, that’s just great,” she pocketed the device before looking up and down the stretch of road she was on.

There was nothing but trees on either side, and she couldn’t see anything past the giant hill up ahead. She began walking up the road, the same way she was driving and pulled her jacket tighter against her chest, this is literally how every horror movie starts.

After a few minutes of walking, she saw a truck appear over the edge of the hill. Please don’t stop, please don’t stop… the truck slowed as it approached her, and the driver’s window rolled down, of course.

“Excuse me, Miss? Need a lift?”

Damn, he’s cute, and that accent… she gave the stranger a once over, No! Focus, girl, focus. On the one hand, he might actually want to help, but on the other, her eyes darted to the bed of the truck, wishing she was two inches taller, he could be a serial killer or something…

“Ma’am?” He leaned out the window a bit, eyebrows knitting together in concern.

Butterflies fluttered in her stomach at his voice, making her dip her head so he missed her blush.

Fuck it.

She brought her gaze back to his face and smiled, “Sorry.”

He’s too cute to be a serial killer.

 “Do you happen to know where the closest mechanic shop is?” she pointed back over her shoulder, “My car broke down.”

He followed her finger before turning back, “Looks like it’s your lucky day,” he started his truck and drove the few feet forward, stopping again beside her car.

“Hey!” She jogged after him, what the hell is he doing?

She watched as he jumped out of his truck, before striding over to her car, lifting the hood.

“What, uh, what are you doing?” She kept a small distance between them, just in case.

He shut the hood and smiled at her, “I’m the only mechanic in town,” he began hooking her car up to the back of his truck.

“…Really?”

“Yep, I was just on my way out to get a few parts,” he went to the passenger side of his truck, wrenching the door open before looking to her, “How lucky is that?”

A little too lucky.

“Yeah…”

Wasn’t Ted Bundy attractive?

He chuckled, “There’s no need to worry, ma’am, I’m just trying to help,” she still didn’t move so he closed the passenger door, before walking around to the drivers’ side, “I can tow your car up to my shop, if you’d like. It’s only a few miles passed that hill. I can start working on it, if you’d rather walk. I’d just feel bad leaving you here, alone.”

“I just… it’s kind of hard to believe that the first person I meet is the one who I need, y’know? It’s a little too… coincidental.”

He laughed and hoped into his truck, “Well, that’s the thing about small towns,” he winked, “there’s only so many people.”

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes, my God, that laugh… she turned her gaze to his eyes for the first time since meeting him, baby blues, damn it… she chewed her lip for a moment, looking back to the hill, how bad could he be?

“I suppose I’d be rude not to accept a ride,” her heart fluttered at the thousand watt smile he gave her.

She closed the distance before climbing into the truck with a huff, “Sorry,” she wiggled into place on her seat, “guess I’m just not used to people being so nice to strangers.”

He laughed again before starting the truck, “Maybe I can change your mind?”

She bit her lip and turned to look out the window, “Maybe.”

What’s the worst that could happen?

 

 

“Here we are.”

They turned onto a long, dirt road, heavy trees covering each side, hiding the path from the main road. She peered up as they stopped in front of run-down looking house, definitely how horror movies start.

She jumped out of the truck and looked around, “This is your shop?”

“Yes, ma’am,” he slid out of the truck before going to unhook her car, “Been in my family four generations.”

Wow, she wandered, taking in the barely-there scenery, there wasn’t too much that screamed mechanic, aside from a few cars on cinderblocks off to one side, “No offence, but it doesn’t really look like a shop.”

“Yeah,” he chuckled and wiped his hands on his pants, “I get that a lot.”

She brought one hand up to her temple, beginning to rub it as she felt the first stabs of a heat headache, I knew I should’ve worn a hat. He came around the side of his truck, grabbing two water bottles out of the back before tossing one at her, “My grandfather did used to have a real shop, but when he met my grandmother…”

She caught it easily, albeit surprised, how did he know…? She took a couple big gulps of it as she made her way over to the porch, taking a closer look, feeling the pain in her head start subsiding. Already? She looked at the bottle in her hands, studying it, looks like regular water…The blue paint on the railing was chipped and faded, the whole house seemed faded away by the years, it looks sad.

“My gran always talked about owning this house, said growing up she’d ride past it on her way to school and it was the most beautiful house she’d ever seen,” she heard him creak up the porch steps, “After things started getting serious between them, he sold the shop to buy this place.”

“It’s still beautiful…” she ran her free hand along one of the window sills, leaving a streak through the dirt, “like an old photograph.”

“Yeah…”

She felt his eyes on her back and took another swig of water, heart beating just a little bit faster as he got closer. Relax, girl, he’s just being… friendly.

“The years haven’t been kind to her. I’ve tried to repair as much as I can,” the hairs on her neck stood up as she felt his breath, “but being out here all by myself…”

A shiver ran through her at his voice being so close – she could practically feel the heat rolling off his body – she felt herself beginning to get wet.

Has it really been that long?

Her logical side was telling her something wasn’t right, that she should run in the other direction, but the rest of her, well…

She took a sip of water in an attempt to cool herself down. Calm the hell down. What do you think this is, a porno? He’s not gonna let you do him for payment. A mental image of him peeling his shirt off, kneeling over her flashed through her brain and she felt herself blush. Jesus, you don’t even know his name! Get it together.

Whoa, she felt herself sway on the spot as a sudden wave of dizziness hit her, what the hell?

Her knees buckled, and she felt his arms wrap around her waist, ooohhh… keeping her up. A small burst of electricity ran through her as they touched.

She shook her head, failing to get rid of her wanting, snap out of it, girl. Something’s not right.

“I…” Her brain suddenly foggy, she struggled to find the words, “W-what did you…?”

“Ssshhh, it’s alright,” goose bumps broke out over her skin as he placed a kiss to her neck.

Her instincts kicked in, telling her to run, but as soon as she tried to straighten herself and get out of his grasp, he pulled her tighter against his chest.

“I-I need to-”

“Relax, baby.”

Her brain short circuited at the baby, legs instantly loosing their ability to work, the fight leaving her body. He began sucking on her neck, making her gasp as he hit that spot. Mmm… her eyes fluttered shut as she tilted her head to one side, exposing more of her skin to him. His stubble tickled her flesh as he switched to nibbling her ear, causing another spark of electricity to shoot through her.

“You are so beautiful…”

“Y-yeah?”

“You must be tired after such a long drive.”

She whimpered as she felt her feet leave the ground, water bottle slipping from her hand. She rested her head against his chest, the gentle thump of his heart pulling her towards sleep.

“I’ve got a guest bed you can use,” his voice was thick with lust, sending another wave of pleasure through her body.

“You’re so warm,” she mildly registered that she was slurring her words as she started loosing the fight to stay conscious.

“You shouldn’t try to talk.”

She nuzzled her head against his chest, trying to get closer.

“Let’s go sleepyhead,” his voice was barely above a whisper, the kiss to her forehead giving her a sense of peace.

A crunch made her eyes open, “wha…?”

“Ssshhh, it’s okay, just a water bottle,” she watched as he kicked it, it rolled under the railing before falling off the porch.

The water…he… her head throbbed as her brain tried to connect the thought.

He carried her through the doorway just as her eyes slipped closed again.

 

 

She groaned as her eyes blinked open. What the hell…? She went to sit up but couldn’t. Looking to her left, she saw her hand was handcuffed to a bed. Her heart beat increased as she saw her legs were bound too. Okay, it’s okay… just breath. Don’t freak out, you don’t know what’s happening yet. She lifted her head the small amount she could and saw a man standing with his back to the bed, doing something she couldn’t quite see.

“Oh, good,” she heard the clank of metal before he turned around, smiling, “you’re awake.”

“Y-yeah,” she blinked in surprise at the hoarseness of her voice, “W-what did you do?”

He had the audacity to look shocked, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She rattled the handcuffs against the bed post, glaring at him, “What did you do?”

He smirked as he made his way over to the left side of the bed, “You don’t remember?”

“No, I don’t fucking remember.”

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” he stopped inches away from her hand, “where’s all this hostility coming from?”

Is he serious? “How about from the fact I woke up handcuffed to a fucking bed?”

The blue-eyed man sat on the edge of the bed, eyes sparkling as he wiped sweat off his head with an arm.

Sweaty? Why would he… oh my god, “D-did we…y’know…?”

He nodded with a chuckle, running a hand through his hair.

Oh my God, “I’m gonna be sick,” she swallowed thickly, and turned away from him.

His expression turned hurt, he cast his gaze to the floor, “You really don’t remember?”

This can’t be happening, there’s no way that I- she snapped her head back, “You drugged me!”

“Wha-?” He got up from the bed and made his way back over to the other side of the room.

She lifted her head, not trusting to take her eyes off him and saw him fill a needle before making his way back over.

“Whoa, hey, what is that? What are you doing? Get away from me!”

“Sh-sh-sh-sh, it’s alright,” he turned her head before pushing the needle into her neck, “it’s just something to help you calm down.”

She gasped as she felt the liquid rush into her, “So is this w-what you do? Pose as a mechanic to rape woman?”

“I didn’t rape you,” he pulled the needle from her neck, “well, not the first time.”

First time? She felt her brain start to get foggy again, fight it, “H-how long have I been here?”

He shrugged before walking away again, “three days? I don’t know, I wasn’t really tracking it.”

Oh, great… “I’ve been drugged for three days? T-that’s… awesome.”

He scoffed before coming back into view, this time holding a lit candle, “I didn’t drug you,” he placed it on the bedside table before brushing some hair away from her face, “but I am going to set you free.”

“Set me free?” she shook her head, trying to shake the fog out, “W-what are you talking about?”

He sighed and sat on the edge of the bed, “That way you won’t have to worry.”

Her eyelids began growing heavy, “Worry? W-what are you…? I d-don’t…”

She rattled the handcuffs weakly in frustration, C’mon, focus!

He let out a heavy sigh, “I know it’s hard to accept, but no one can be good at everything.”

“I-”

He pounded a fist down on the bed and got up, “Why can’t you see? You won’t have to suffer anymore!”

Suffer?

“No more disappointing the opposite sex, no more worrying about if you’re doing a good job, it’ll all be over,” he pulled a knife out of one of the bedside tables’ drawers.

Oh my God…

His expression softened as he gave her body a once over, “You are one of the prettier ones…”

“I-if I’m…” black spots danced on the edges of her vision, “w-why…?”

He smirked before straddling her hips, leaning down so he was right beside her ear, knife poised against her chest, “I had to make sure I was right.”