Transcript: Track 4: Horror

Episode 4 posted October 30, 2020
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.
Transcript by Kaede (thank you!)

Jump to:

Sam: [00:00:00] After that guy choked down all those razorblades?

Dean: It’s Halloween, man.

Sam: Yeah. For us, every day is Halloween.

[intro music]

Ellen: Hi everyone, welcome to episode 4 of Mixtape Book Club Podcast. My name’s Ellen.

MalMuses: And I’m Mal.

Ellen: And this week, it is Halloween. And there’s so much we could cover about Sam’s least favorite holiday of the year, but in this case, we’ve decided that since Supernatural has its roots in horror, we’re going to, we’re going right for some of the spookiest fics we could find featuring Destiel.

MalMuses: And to help us talk about that this week, we are very excited to introduce our guest, jscribbles. 

JScribbles: Hello! That’s me.

Ellen: Hello, welcome.

JScribbles: Thanks for having me on the Podcast.

MalMuses: You’re welcome. It’s great to have you here. So before we [00:01:00] start talking about our topics for today, we’d like to thank everyone who has listened to our first three episodes so far and all of your wonderful comments and support.

Ellen: We really appreciate it.

MalMuses: Just a reminder that all of the fics we talk about during each episode are listed in the episode blog posts on

Ellen: Yeah. And you can get in touch with us in a variety of ways and they’re all listed on the blog. So we, I really appreciate all of your comments. Thank you so much for, for listening so far. So, today we’re actually going to talk about three, we’ve got three fics that we’ve been reading and we’re going to discuss. One of which is Taker of Souls which is by jscribbles and we’ve got two more,

JScribbles: Who’s that?

Ellen: [ Laughs ] We’ve got two more scary fics as well, which are Bring Up The Deep by deathbanjo, and also From Sea to Shining Sea by MsCaptainWinchester. But before we start talking about those, the fics themselves, we’d like to discuss a bit about the fact that [00:02:00] Supernatural is a horror show to start with, even though like, oh god, I don’t want to say horror show because that sounds so horrible. No, [ Laughs ] I don’t want to say that.

MalMuses: Hang on. Wait a second. How did Kripke phrase it? [ Laughs ] Let me just read what Kripke said right here. He said it was:

JScribbles: A horror show.

MalMuses: Yeah.

Ellen: He does literally say,

MalMuses: He literally calls it,

Ellen: He literally says horror show. Okay, I feel fine. I feel good about that now. [ Laughs ] So we’ve got a little, we’ve got a little, an extract from an interview which is from Eric Kripke, the creator of the show, from the 200th episode, an interview that he did, and he says that,

“The core notion behind Supernatural was to make it a series about urban legends. I think they’re this incredibly rich mythology about the United States, and no one had really tapped into that. So when I started as a writer, one of the first ideas [00:03:00] I ever pitched was an urban legend show. A couple years later I tried to pitch basically a Scooby Doo rip off of a bunch of kids travelling in a van dealing with these urban legends.”

My god, that would have been a different show. [ Laughs ] 

“It was an idea I never let go of and kept throwing there every couple years. Finally I had a deal with Warner Brothers and that incarnation was a reporter. Frankly it was a rip off of Night Stalker, but I really fleshed it out and it had mythology. I took it to Susan Rovner and Len Goldstein at the studio, and they said, we love the idea of doing a horror show, which no one was really doing on TV at the time. But we’re not into the reporter, that feels really tired. So no thanks, let’s get another angle.”

And so then I guess he moved into the Winchester brothers kind of angle. And, and there we have it.

MalMuses: Yeah, it went for a very pared down Scooby Doo without the van, unfortunately.

Ellen: Without the talking dog. Depending on who you talk to. 

MalMuses: Well, he turned up eventually. 

Ellen: [00:04:00] And yeah, eventually thay ended up with the Scooby Doo episode. How bizarre.

MalMuses: Full circle.

JScribbles: I also like how he just admitted to ripping off Night Stalker. Makes me feel better as a writer when we’re all worried about being original. 

Ellen: That’s right, there’s no original ideas anymore. Everything is,

MalMuses: There’s nothing out there.

Ellen: So I guess, do you guys have a favorite, like spooky episode? Yeah, tell me about your favorites.

MalMuses: Oh, I have two favorites. They’re both in Season One. The first one, I believe the episode is called Provenance?

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: And it’s the one with the kind of Dorian Gray happening, the haunted painting that they have the family portrait from like 1910?

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: And I actually thought that the atmosphere and like tension in that episode was one of the best from the entire 15 seasons, for me.

Ellen: I don’t actually remember what happened in that one. [00:05:00] What happened? Did they, did, did something come out of the portrait? I’m like, I’m having trouble remembering.

MalMuses: Well, everyone, yeah, everyone who owned it basically ended up dying.

Ellen: Okay.

MalMuses: And it, the, the way that they kind of did it to like ramp up the tension is that like you knew they were gonna die in a certain amount of time, so it was like, there was always this kind of like ticking clock over the next victim.

Ellen: Right.

MalMuses: And,

JScribbles: That’s the one where Sam got smooches with Sarah.

MalMuses: Hey, there we go. Yeah, we like some happy Sam.

JScribbles: Yeah. Best shit. 

Ellen: Oh, that one with the! Yeah, okay. Okay. I remember. For some reason I remember the smooches with Sarah, but I don’t remember the rest of it. [ Laughs ] I guess that’s, you know, 

MalMuses: Yeah, different strokes for different folks there.

JScribbles: Priorities.

Ellen: [ Laughs ] I do actually have the, the DVD of Season One, so I might have to go back and see if I can find that one again.

MalMuses: Yeah, I’ve told myself I’m gonna do an entire rewatch, like, one episode a day for the next, like, year, when everything ends for this season.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So,

Ellen: [00:06:00] Scribbs, did you have one that you wanted to share? A, a scary one?

JScribbles: Yeah. Yeah, I find that most of the actually horror themed episodes are like Season One and Two, and a little bit in Three. Mainly because I think that was like their purpose.

MalMuses: Yep.

JScribbles: So it was very much a horror show at the beginning. So I think for me, like Skin, and it’s in, it’s in it’s in the article. So that’s the one that opens up with that SWAT team breaking into the abandoned building and then the the, what are they called? Shapeshifters? Or Skinwalkers, what am I thinking of?

MalMuses: Skinwalkers, yeah.

JScribbles: Skinwalkers, okay, yeah. Has kind of taken on Dean’s form. And I just thought that was so scary and really dramatic. Yeah. So I really liked that one. 

MalMuses: Really good acting from Jensen in that episode too, because,

JScribbles: Super good acting, like you know it’s not Dean. And I think just, like the horror movie tropes were really strong in that episode. [00:07:00] Yeah, so the horror movie theme of like, I don’t want to say gore porn, but just like, very, very,

MalMuses: I mean, you can say gore porn, it’s fine. [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Like when he’s pulling off his skin, ugh, that’s like the first time watching Supernatural where I was like, that is disgusting.

Ellen: Yep, yep. 

JScribbles: So I, I am genuinely like, a little disturbed by that episode.

Ellen: Yep. I usually find the ones, like, the ones that really creep me out are the ghosty ones. Like, I’m really, I’m not much of a horror movie watcher. Like, I don’t like jump scares and like, I don’t like being scared when I’m watching something on TV or whatever. So, 

JScribbles: How did you stumble on Supernatural? 

Ellen: I know! Well, this is why I never watched it for years and years, because when it was first on, I remember watching, like, previews for it and thinking, oh god, that’s too scary for me, [00:08:00] I don’t, I don’t want to watch it.

JScribbles: [ Laughs ]

Ellen: So it wasn’t until a lot later when I sort of heard from other people that it was really good and it had a lot of, like, you know, the found family story and all that kind of stuff that goes along with it, so I got into it then but I find the ones like, with the jump scares and ghosts and stuff are my scary ones, so I was kind of freaked out in the first bit by, like, Bloody Mary, for example, where,

JScribbles: Yeah.

Ellen: Something comes out of a mirror. I was just like, okay, that is so freaky. So,

MalMuses: Yes. That’s one of my favorite episodes ever. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: I mean, it’s brilliant in, like, the narrative kind of, the actual way they put the whole thing together. I thought that was really awesome. Yeah. Very scary.

MalMuses: Yeah. I think that’s a really good episode. Really good example of a Monster of the Week kind of episode that also really worked well actually into the story and into their individual character arcs.

[00:09:00] Because it was kind of about Sam dealing with having had visions of Jess dying before it happened, that kind of thing. And then that being worked into the actual story itself and him dealing with that, and then there was that amazing scene in the episode where he’s in that, like, antique shop full of mirrors. 

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: Just love it. Love that. Love that episode. It was just really well done, like, to fit into the entire narrative and not just the Monster of the Week thing, but it was still, like, a really distinct Monster of the Week episode.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So.

Ellen: I mean, yeah, they did kind of stick with the horror theming in the first few seasons, didn’t they? And then, as the plot kind of grew and more characters came and whatever, they added… it sort of lost a lot of that kind of really scary feeling a lot of the time. But there was one episode in the last season especially that I was just looking up to see the name of. [00:10:00] It was called Prophet and Loss. It was the one where, because Donatello is in the hospital because, you know, when Cas ripped his mind apart, basically. And the prophet who came after him was going mad because he, you know, he, he couldn’t be a prophet properly because Donatello was still around. So he kind of went crazy and started killing people in like really horrible ways.

JScribbles: Oh yeah!

Ellen: And I thought that particular episode was quite disturbing for me because he, you know, he was just drowning people and you’re like, Oh, I didn’t like it. It was, I mean, I liked it in like a, it scared the pants off me kind of way.

JScribbles: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: I think it’s true though that like, it’s always going to be different for each person because what scares different people is just so different. That’s why there’s so many different genres of horror in the first place. But I think it probably would be remiss of us to not, when we’re talking about scary or gory or otherwise [00:11:00] Halloween-y Supernatural episodes we should probably mention The Benders as well.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: Because that’s a whole kind of section of horror that’s, kind of the, the, who are the monsters really kind of question. And I thought that was really well done. And that’s that scene, which I’m now staring straight at a picture at where they’re like coming at Dean with that, like hot poker thing.

Ellen: Ugghh.

MalMuses: Yeah.

Ellen: Yes.

MalMuses: That’s my thing with horror. I don’t like, I don’t like eyeballs. I don’t like feet. So,

Ellen: Yeah. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: So the scene where they’re coming at Dean’s face with the poker, not one for me and the scene where Sam’s being tortured by the Men of Letters and they’re flashing a flame around his foot. Also, not for me.

Ellen: Well, when it comes to fic, there is a broad kind of range of fics that are classified, I guess, as horror, tagged as horror. There’s plenty of canon fics, like, that are, kind of fall under this kind of banner. [00:12:00] In, in fact, I tweeted about this and asked people to tell me their most creepy, their favourite creepy fics that they had and we got such a huge list now of, of stories that people found scary. Thank you so much to everyone who replied to that tweet and told me about their favourites.

A lot of them actually have sort of either Main Character Death or you know, non-con or you know, otherwise disturbing elements in them. So if you are looking at our list of recommended fics on the website just have a look at the tags before you actually start reading them, just to make sure that you, what you’re getting into is what you want to read.

But yeah, the ones we’ve picked generally are not um, MCD or, I think Taker of Souls is the only one that has like non-con stuff in it, but just, and that’s only in, in fairly brief scenes that you’ve actually marked as being you know, [00:13:00] you can, you can skip them if you need to, Scribbs.

JScribbles: Yeah, I can’t remember if I’ve done it yet for Taker of Souls, but for my other ones, if there’s anything that, you know, people genuinely are very squicked by, so like I have a fic that has like a graphic birth in it or whatever, I’ll usually mark it as skippable and then just summarize it if there’s any like plot relevant things that happen. So that people don’t have to read it, because it’s Fanfiction, you don’t want to traumatize yourself, right?

Ellen: Yeah, that’s right. No, in Taker of Souls, you do actually say at the start of the chapter, like, this is a graphic scene, don’t read it, you know, if you don’t want to.

JScribbles: Yes.

Ellen: So, but we might start with Bring Up the Deep by deathbanjo. And Mal, would you, I know this is one of your favorites, would you, do you want to tell us about it?

Bring Up The Deep [00:13:54]

MalMuses: Yes! Okay, so Bring Up The Deep is a few years old now. [00:14:00] It was published in 2016. It’s a pretty short story. It’s the shortest one that we’re looking at today. It’s only 22,000 words, about 22 and a half. And the summary is short and sweet. It goes with:

They went back and forth on whether or not to make the drive until Sam found an article in the town’s local paper dated a week earlier about a lobster fisherman who swore a monster sank his boat.

And that’s it. So they’re really giving nothing away in the summary of this one.

Ellen: Yep.

MalMuses: And it’s not, it’s not hugely tagged either. The very important things are there. But it’s not hugely tagged. And I think given the kind of very mysterious nature of this fic and the atmospheric kind of mystery they’ve got going on, I’m sure that was an intentional choice that they decided not to kind of give a lot away in the summary or overly tag it. But, and I think it works as well.

Ellen: Yeah, it’s a pretty amazing kind of story that [00:15:00]I guess it’s gradually, only very gradually revealed what’s actually going on. So, I mean, the guys just turn up in this town like a fishing village, I guess, on the coast and discover that this, there’s all these things that have washed up on the beach.

But the thing is that no one in the town, like everyone in the town who they speak to about this is really cagey about the whole thing and no one actually wants to tell them anything. And so everything’s very gradually revealed, which just adds to the suspense of the whole thing.

MalMuses: I really love the atmosphere of this fic and just the specific way that it’s written. Because one, one thing about me is I absolutely love the whole Lovecraftian mythos and kind of atmosphere of storytelling.

The problem is the man himself was kind of an asshole and a disaster, so I don’t necessarily really want to read his specific works. [ Laughs ] [00:16:00] So if people can just provide me with fanfic that gives me that, you know, that same thing, that’d be great.

And this, this is very much that for me, the way that it’s written, it really, it really pulls you in because you, you get a sense, not just of where they are and what they’re doing and where they’re going, but of how everything around them feels. And a lot of that is very important because when these events start happening and they start affecting the boys directly and probably I’m just gonna say, particularly, particularly Cas in this gets affected by it a lot. You can kind of very much feel what’s happening to him and like, you really get kind of, even though you’re, if you’re looking at it from Dean’s point of view you get a really clear feeling of just the sense of wrongness that’s going on.

JScribbles: They were so good at describing the atmosphere. Like I, I could picture just gray the entire time that I was reading,

Ellen: Yes!

JScribbles: Just gray. And then at one point, I don’t quite remember the scene, [00:17:00] but at one point they were like all wet. And I remember just thinking, like, I feel a little, like, cold and clammy just reading this. It was really great, the way that they described everything.

Ellen: Yeah. Well, I guess we should also add that this, obviously it’s a Canonverse fic. But also Dean and Cas are actually, it’s an Established Relationship fic. So they’re actually together in this and Sam doesn’t know about it yet. So they’re kind of, you know, secretive about their relationship. And that actually adds to the, when Cas starts being affected by this thing.

That’s why, sort of, I guess Dean realizes something’s wrong because, you know, there’s, then he’s not, their relationship isn’t the same anymore, I guess. Yeah. I, I kind of, I liked… I don’t always like to read Established Relationship fics, because I like the romance, like, that’s my thing, [00:18:00] but I actually really liked this because it, it actually helped to tell the story that they were having this kind of secret kind of thing that Sam didn’t know about yet. They were trying to keep it hidden.

MalMuses: Yeah, I think that’s very true because it’s the same for me as well. I don’t usually read Established Relationship fics, not that there’s anything wrong with writing them, if that’s what people enjoy, but for me, it’s very much a case of, I want to see the, the Getting Together moment, the how they got there. I basically want to see what TV has denied me. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: [ Laughs ] It’s true.

MalMuses: But it did work really well for this one. So it’s, it’s kind of telling, I guess, that that’s one of the things that I generally avoid in fic, and yet this is still one of my favorite stories.

JScribbles: I don’t think I even read the tags when I started reading it, so I had no idea. And it was really exciting to find out though. [ Laughs ] Because at first you’re not really sure, like it’s not very overt, and then I think it’s either later in the first chapter or in the second chapter, [00:19:00] I think Sam isn’t there and they’re in the cabin and Dean and Cas just start kissing and I was like, Oh my God, this is amazing! I was so excited. So I think it was pretty effective. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: Yep. Yeah, they just like skipped all the pussyfooting around and just got straight into the kissing. [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Yeah, I loved it. I was like, genuinely surprised. It came out of left field, but that’s what you get for not reading the tags.

Ellen: So yeah, this one is, it is Explicit. So they do kind of get it on a bit later and, and in a way that it’s not quite non-con like they, even though they’re pushed into doing it, they still kind of want to, you know, it’s not like they’re, they’re going against their will, their wishes.

JScribbles: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: Yeah, I think it’s more that it’s not that they even don’t want to do it, they’re just maybe expressing themselves differently than how they usually would do.

Ellen: Yep. [00:20:00] The other thing about this fic that we could mention is that there’s artwork in, in it that looks like, it wasn’t a bang fic or anything, but it looks like PurgatoryJar has actually gifted the author with, with art for this fic and it’s really beautiful. So go and check it out. 

JScribbles: Oh, it’s so pretty.

Ellen: Yeah. It’s worth having a look.

MalMuses: Yeah. And I think given it’s a Horror fic and it’s not tagged, we should probably say that there is actually a Happy Ending to this fic, um, or at least a, you know, it’s, it’s a case fic. Life is going on for them, so we don’t know what’s going on in the future, but as far as this case is concerned, it is solved at the end.

Ellen: Yes, and their relationship.

MalMuses: I know, I know a lot of people have that kind of issue where they will read almost anything but they need to, they need to know, they need to know they’re getting something happy at the end.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: I just was really impressed with how they, how they wrote it in like a technical sense because of the horror and I noticed it right away in the first scene [00:21:00] how they kind of revved up the tension by using like shorter sentences.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: It made everything feel very stuttered and abrupt in all the places that they meant it to be. It was just so well done. It really helped, like, ramp up the tension. And you notice and, and you notice that it is purposeful because the rest of the fic isn’t like that unless it’s a scary scene.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: Yeah, so they did such a good job with that.

MalMuses: And I think they even played with kind of the lengths of the scenes in this as well to like similar effect, whereas you’ll get a sudden like very short scene that’s maybe just a few lines,

JScribbles: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: Where it kind of gives you that impression of just like this little flash of something kind of crashing in and interrupting the main flow of the story.

Ellen: Yep.

MalMuses: Or, something that’s kind of like, you know, if you were watching the show would just be a little cutaway from what you’ve been doing before to give you some information and then they cut back to something else. And it kind of gives you that same feeling.

Ellen: [00:22:00] Yep. Yeah, I think that deathbanjo writes it really well with having almost like a concise kind of wording in a lot of ways. Like, they only just describe enough, like plenty of beautiful descriptions of the, the feeling of the scene, but the actual action is only described just enough for you to know what’s going on. And that helps with the feeling of unease that you get when you don’t know what’s actually happening.

JScribbles: Yeah. I did really like their writing style. In one of, in one scene, I remember there was, wasn’t a lot of description going on, it was very dialogue heavy, but then they just had one little piece of description in between dialogue, and it was just something like, Sam pulls his sweater that had ridden down his shoulder or something like that.

It was just enough for you to get the feeling of what they look like,

Ellen: Movement, yeah.

JScribbles: And what’s going on without overly describing the entire scene. It was so good. It really kept your focus on the dialogue and what they were saying, but kind of the feel between the boys as well.

Ellen: [00:23:00] And that’s good writing.

MalMuses: And it’s the, in the same way they did something that I always love in fic, where they have very specific details about characters. There is a character in this named Willie, who they talk to a fair part at the beginning. And we’re not kind of bogged down with like huge descriptions of what this guy, Willie, looks like or anything like that, because in terms of the story, it doesn’t really matter that much. But one of the first things that they learn about him is that he’s missing a pinky finger.

Ellen: Oh yeah!

MalMuses: And so that just kind of like sticks in your head as you’re reading it. It’s like this little detail that’s just enough and you can build that whole character around that detail.

JScribbles: But I feel like they didn’t even have to describe what he looked like or what, I keep going to say NPCs, [ Laughs ] what the background characters look like, because they just did such a good job with their dialogue and other things.

So like the way that people smelled, how it smelled like fish a lot, or how it smelled like the ocean, and like you kind of just fill in the blanks, [00:24:00] like I, for, you, I mean you just told me that he doesn’t get described, but I don’t know why I had like a perfect image of what this guy looks like, which, yeah, was really reflective of how, how deathbanjo did such a good job of making you fill in the blanks yourself.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So, very well described, atmospheric, unsettling horror, I would say.

From Sea to Shining Sea [00:24:25]

Ellen: Yes. The next fic on the list, we went sort of the opposite direction from the sea, I guess. Although this does have sea in the title. This is a zombie fic which fits with our Halloween theming. But, it’s maybe not as spooky as the other one, but anyway. From Sea to Shining Sea is by MsCaptainWinchester, and it is, it was written for Pinefest in 2018.

[00:25:00] So, it is a little longer than the last one, about 43,000 words and it is also Explicit. And the summary goes like this:

Dean and Castiel are only a few short months of college from reuniting after five long years on opposite coasts. It doesn’t seem like long, but then a virus breaks out close to Dean, and suddenly all their plans are ruined.

Now there are new plans. Dean is going to do everything he can to cross the country, picking up strays and a reputation for violence along the way. Cas is building a new colony of survivors. Determined to stay still long enough for Dean to find him. But without contact, neither knows if they will ever see the other again.

Can Dean survive his cross country road trip through Zombie Nation? And if he does, will Castiel still be there to meet him?

So yeah, we’ve got zombies. The Zombie Apocalypse, I guess. Sort of, it was like a year before COVID broke out. So it’s not quite um… When the, when these virus fic, like I released a virus fic early this year, which was such bad timing and I feel like no one read it for that reason.

JScribbles: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: [00:26:00] Just like, no, we’ve got enough of that in real life. Thank you. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: But this one was, was published like a whole year earlier in, in the 2018 Pinefest. No, so two years earlier. So, I feel like, like a lot more people probably enjoyed it for that reason, like it was a bit more of a, a Zombie Apocalypse fic that, you know, didn’t feel like real life too much at the time. But yeah, I really enjoyed this one.

JScribbles: I will say the beginning felt all too real, with the people not taking it seriously and, [ Laughs ] yeah, I mean, you can only laugh, otherwise you will just cry. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Definitely timely to read this at the moment, but I’m a big, like, zombie fan, 100%. They’re definitely one of the, like, [00:27:00] I don’t technically find them scary at all, like zombies aren’t scary for me, but I don’t know, they’re just interesting for me, I guess.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: And this fic really kind of played into that. There were definitely some scenes in it that were kind of going on the, the gore side of horror, I guess. But the fic itself to me wasn’t scary. It was just really interesting because I was interested in the zombies and how they worked and how the virus would spread and that kind of stuff. That kind of thing for some reason is very fascinating to me. Please don’t be scared of me. I’m fine.

JScribbles: [ Laughs ] I really appreciated the parts of this fic that describe how they were getting around. Like the little things that horror movies don’t explain to you. So you know, having to siphon gas and like steal a car and then oh you get robbed and so, you know, basically what do you do in these scenarios and make it seem realistic.

Ellen: Yeah. How they had to,

JScribbles: That’s what I really liked about it.

Ellen: [00:28:00] Scavenge for food all the time and yeah, there’s details right? Yeah I find, I, I I don’t generally like zombie, I’m like the opposite reason I find zombie, it’s not the zombies themselves that are scary, like, I’m sure if, if some drooling, like falling apart monster was coming at you, I’d happily take like a headshot at it, but, you know.

It’s the idea of someone you know turning into a monster and then you having to deal with them. That is like, a really terrifying thing to me.

JScribbles: Yeah.

Ellen: So I don’t like some, like, I will, I will, like read, when I’m reading it, it’s fine. It’s more like watching it on, like, when you’re watching a film or whatever, it’s a bit more real, so, in my head anyway.

But the thing I, I really appreciated about this one was the the survivalist part of it, like, them setting up the camp and having to find, make sure they had fresh water and, like, [00:29:00] I liked that even though they were just sort of college students, they were so prepared. [ Laughs ] There’s, there’s like, people are getting infected and they have to deal with them, so there are some difficult scenes where… involving Minor Character Deaths, so just a word of warning there. But there are no, there are no, there’s no Major Character Deaths in this one.

JScribbles: I did really appreciate that element of this fic as well, the just the emotions behind everything. There’s a lot of grief, a lot of uncertainty, not knowing if your family and friends are alive, and if this whole trek is for nothing, and like you’re saying, you know, having to, you know, essentially put down your friends.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: So that was, you know. They did a very good job of describing the grief and the, like, mental trauma of that, essentially.

MalMuses: [00:30:00] Yeah, I think part of the reason why that worked so well as well was we were kind of all throughout, even for the fic, even though Dean and Cas are on opposite coasts for a lot of it and kind of slowly working their way towards each other, we do get a lot of sort of flashbacks as to how they got to where they were and how their relationship progressed. And it kind of made it all that more kind of bittersweet, really, when you would see how happy they were and then it would be juxtaposed to a scene where you know that they think the other one is probably dead. So, I don’t know, it gave it a lot more emotional impact, I think, because you had the contrast between those two things.

JScribbles: Mm-hmm.

Ellen: Yeah, yeah, I think that, that made it, it was less you know, depressing, I guess, like, you didn’t wanna have like them being in despair the whole way through. There were, because they had those flashbacks where they were, like, before all this crap went down, they were able, you were able to get a bit of a feeling of how they felt then. [00:31:00] And it made the now a lot more poignant, I guess.

JScribbles: Also, I thought it was really cool how, usually in fics, even in AUs, like, Dean is kind of a badass from the start, whereas in this one he’s, he’s, you know, he’s fearful of the zombies, he doesn’t quite know what to do, and he kind of, as time goes by, learns how to fight them, I guess, and it’s not natural to him at first.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: You know, you see that scene where he sees a dead body and just like, throws up, and he’s just very not a badass. He’s just a regular person right away, and then it’s kind of something that evolves, and I really like that, because it kind of adds a hint of realism, I guess, because we don’t all start out as monster hunters.

Ellen: That’s true.

MalMuses: Yeah, I mean, once upon a time when he was a kid, like, even Dean Winchester wasn’t born a monster hunter.

JScribbles: Yes.

MalMuses: He learned to be one eventually. So.

JScribbles: I mean, I was born a monster hunter in the womb.

MalMuses: [00:32:00] Excellent.

JScribbles: It can’t all be me.

MalMuses: Sounds painful for Mommy Scribbs.

JScribbles: Oh god!

MalMuses: Okay.

Ellen: There was one other thing that was really cute about this fic that I don’t want to give it away because when it comes up it’s really cute, but there are animals in this fic and they, they’re not harmed during the fic, but they are adorable. And I loved it.

JScribbles: So adorable.

Ellen: I loved it.

MalMuses: Yep, that was so unexpected.

Ellen: Yeah, so, yeah, I won’t give that one away.

MalMuses: Just immediately put a smile on my face when I started reading that scene. I was like, oh yay! 

Ellen: I was like, please, please let this animal make it all the way to the end. [ Laughs ] And they did.

JScribbles: Yeah, I got that horror movie anger where I was like, if you hurt that dog, I swear, you know, it’s a different, it’s a different animal in this fic, but same kind of feeling.

Ellen: Yeah, so sad.

JScribbles: [00:33:00] If that dog dies, I’m turning this movie off.

Ellen: Yeah, yeah.

MalMuses: Yeah, I really liked the side characters in this fic because even though we were very much kind of in Cas and Dean’s heads and it was, you know, them trying to find the other or trying to just last long enough to see the other again, they still had enough of the side characters in there that you actually cared about them. Which obviously was important when it came to the, the, the deaths and the kind of tension that you needed. Like if you didn’t care about those characters, I don’t think this fic would have worked.

JScribbles: Who’s your favorite side character?

MalMuses: Normally I would say Charlie immediately, but I think in this it was actually Kevin’s mom.

JScribbles: Yes!

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: Mrs. Tran was great in this.

Ellen: She was kind of a badass, wasn’t she? It was good.

MalMuses: Yeah, I really enjoyed her in this, and I feel like we did get, like, a taste of that, like, feistiness from her in the show.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: [00:34:00] But you don’t really see her used in fic a lot other than, like, maybe just kind of an overbearing parent kind of situation. So it was actually really fun to see her used in, in the way that she is in this fic.

Ellen: It is really sweet in this one when, when, I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that Dean actually does find his way back to Cas in the end. And it is a, a really, a cute kind of reunion, like it’s all happy at the end and it’s, yeah, the ending is good. And all the sweeter because they’ve been doing some pretty severe pining all the way through that one. As a Pinefest fic.

MalMuses: Yeah, you can definitely see that this worked very well for Pinefest.

Taker of Souls [00:34:45]

Ellen: Yep. For sure. Okay, well, it’s time to go on now to talk about Taker of Souls, the main event, yay, by JScribbles. So this was actually your DCBB fic in 2018. This one’s a bit longer than the other ones we’ve talked about. [00:35:00] This is like 128,000 words and it is Explicit and it does have warnings for, let me just get this up here.

JScribbles: So many warnings.

Ellen: We’ve got warnings for,

JScribbles: I always want to be safe, so.

Ellen: Graphic violence, Major Character Death, and non-con. But all those things are, are sort of marked.

MalMuses: It’s Temporary Main Character Death, right?

Ellen: Yes, the death is temporary.

MalMuses: Okay.

Ellen: It’s not permanent. And you can skip the hinky bits if you want to. But, are we going to make Scribbs read her own?

MalMuses: Oh, yes.

JScribbles: Oh, no. [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Yes, yes.

JScribbles: I write. I’m not good at reading, especially out loud. Okay. 

MalMuses: Okay, I got this.

JScribbles: All right, go. 

MalMuses: [00:36:00] The angels have fallen. Castiel is human. Sam is recovering from the trials, and Dean doesn’t want to expose them to the world as it’s crumbling outside the bunker doors. To pass time in their solitude, Dean discovers a hidden room in the bunker full of dangerous, magical artifacts and accidentally exposes his friends and family to an ancient horror.

If Castiel thought adjusting to humanity was already a terror in itself, he experiences a world of pain when the ancient spirit Dean released chooses him as a vessel to fulfill its evil prophecy. Castiel begins to change as voices call out to him in the night and take the form of the one Righteous Man he desires, temptation drawing him to complete a ritual that will allow one of Hell’s most feared ancient entities to occupy his vessel.

Before Sam, Dean, Kevin, and Crowley know what’s happening, they are thrown into a lockdown, unable to escape the bunker as the cruel, twisted monster inside of Castiel prowls the hallways, hunting them, thirsty for their blood and hungry for their souls.

So I guess we should start off saying that this was inspired by The Evil Dead, right?

JScribbles: Yes, it was inspired by, I believe the 2008? 

MalMuses: Oh, you tagged it. 1981 and 2013. 

JScribbles: Yes, so the 2013 Evil Dead. Yeah. [00:37:00] I’ve watched the other Evil Deads, but they were a little too campy. [ Laughs ] But this one actually took the first Evil Dead and made it into an actual modern horror movie.

Ellen: Yes.

JScribbles: I’m a big horror movie buff, so I think it’s one of my favorite horror movies ever.

Ellen: Well, I haven’t actually seen the movie. ‘Cause, like,

JScribbles: I feel like you would hate it. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: Yeah. So, but, but I’ve got to say that I loved this fic. It’s, I think you’ve done such a brilliant job of making, um, actually making Cas really freaking scary in this one. It’s brilliant.

JScribbles: Yea! I struggled with that because the whole fandom thinks he’s this, like, soft bean and I was like, ugh, how do I make him actually scary? 

Ellen: No, and so this is, the other thing you’ve done really brilliantly in this that I wanted to just mention at the start was that the, [00:38:00] especially at the start of the fic, because this is canon, like canon divergent, you’ve sort of gone the start of Season 8 and where Cas has just become human and really weaved that kind of canon elements into this horror story really, really well. So I appreciated the, that, you know, Dean doesn’t kick Cas out of the bunker now he’s human. And that kind of,

JScribbles: Yeah, this is a fix-it fic for that, I think.

Ellen: Yeah, that’s right. So there is, there is a bit of actual canon fixing at the start before things really start getting weird.

JScribbles: Yeah. I fixed it and then I broke it.

Ellen: That’s right.

MalMuses: But then you do put it back together again. I think this is definitely one where we need to know that there’s a happy ending for most people in this fic. 

JScribbles: Yes, unfortunately, not all of them because it is a horror fic. But,

Ellen: [00:39:00] The other thing that you’ve woven in as well, apart from the, the horror stuff, obviously you’ve got this sort of book that they discovered that is, you know, an ancient kind of evil, as you say inthe summary, you’ve also woven in the, the, the love story element to it as well.

So you’ve brought in, not only have you put in this really scary horror story, but you’ve also got, you know, Dean feeling like he doesn’t, that, that Cas will never want him. That he’s been, you know, sort of crushing on Cas forever and realizing that there’s more to it than that. And his feelings of doubt and whatever on his side and there’s also Cas who’s gradually kind of losing it because this creature is kind of hunting him and whatever.

So there’s so many different elements in this and I feel like, it, like I’ve, I’ve only just been rereading this the last couple of days so it’s like fully, like my head is full of like you know blood and mud and stuff at the moment. [00:40:00] But I really, I really appreciated this time of my reread, the romance into it as well. I thought it was really well done. So congratulations. You’ve got a perfect fic.

JScribbles: Oh, thank you.

MalMuses: I agree with that. Yeah, I think it actually, it adds to it like when you read the story and when I reread it this time I guess because I was rereading it kind of slower to make sure that I had everything straight in my head so that we could do it for the Podcast, it kind of really occurred to me that without the horror aspect of this fic the, the romance aspect of it wouldn’t work and vice versa.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: Mm-hmm.

MalMuses: So it was actually so well done and like weaved together really well. And there are definitely times where you don’t know if you’re like, really rooting for them or not because [ Laughs ] you’re like, it’s going to make everything so much worse, but I still want it to happen.

JScribbles: Yeah. That’s the downside with trying to write them as canon as possible in the situation. [00:41:00] Because the reality is obviously they don’t always treat each other the best in canon, right? So it’s trying to work with that and then also trying to fix it at the same time while also dealing with a horror story. But, it, you know, it ends up being relevant to the plot because, you know, I don’t know, I guess it’s spoilers, but kinda not really. You know, the, the Taker who is the villain in the story does end up using their insecurities about each other to its advantage.

Ellen: Yeah. Yes. And they don’t, I mean, this is so true to canon that they just don’t use their words ever. They don’t talk to each other. And that is like a major drawback for them, both in the real actual show and in this story.

MalMuses: Yeah, and by,

JScribbles: Yeah guys, just talk to each other.

Ellen: It would fix so much.

MalMuses: [00:42:00] By not talking and letting the monster talk for them, essentially, they, they basically handed the power to somebody else, whereas if they had just talked to start with, they could have avoided so much.

JScribbles: Yeah, and it kind of plays out, you know, in that part of the story where Dean is nice to Cas about something, and he’s like, this isn’t real.

Ellen: Yes!

JScribbles: That’s his reaction. It’s like, this is fake, and this is how I know this is fake, it’s because you’re being nice to me.

Ellen: Ah, that was actually really sad. [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Yeah, it was sad. Again, one of those situations where it’s like, yeah, you laugh about it so you don’t cry because that’s kind of depressing.

Ellen: Yeah. Yes. So Cas is very, I guess, this is true Cas whump, right? It’s like, he gets very hurt in this story. So if you’re into that, like, I know there’s a lot of people out there who like to read about Cas getting hurt and about Dean helping him through it. This is your fic.

JScribbles: Yeah.

MalMuses: [00:43:00] Yeah, this is some quality Cas whump right here. I don’t think there’s anybody who escapes being hurt in this fic, but it’s definitely,

JScribbles: I was just gonna say that, I was like, it’s everybody whump.

Ellen: Yes.

JScribbles: But yes, especially Cas. Poor Cas. I promise he gets fixed at the end.

MalMuses: He really does, so, yeah.

Ellen: He totally gets fixed. And I, and you’ve also, because you’ve also got, because it’s Season 8, you’ve also got Kevin and Crowley in the bunker at the same time, so you sort of had to deal with them as well. So, at first I, when I was rereading I was like, so this is uh, just the boys, like, you know, trapped in the bunker. But then when Kevin and Crowley appeared, I was like, oh, that’s right! These guys are here too.

JScribbles: I have to admit, there was one point in the story where I was like, oh, shit, I’ve had Crowley in the bunker this whole time, [ Laughs ] I have to do something with him and it ended up working in my favor.

MalMuses: [00:44:00] Yeah, it didn’t feel like you had extra characters that you were just trying to work out something to do with them, like they ended up feeling like super integral and important to the story.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: Which is good, cause…

JScribbles: Yeah, I mean, you know,

MalMuses: I love fic with Kevin in it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t very often survive in fic, but it’s, I do love fic with Kevin in it.

JScribbles: hashtag savekevin!

Ellen: He’s pretty much Kenny…

JScribbles: You need to write fics where they all, where Kevin survives and nobody else survives.

MalMuses: I don’t, I don’t know if I’ve ever written a fic where Kevin survives. Have I?

JScribbles: Add it to the list.

MalMuses: Oh gosh. Yeah.

Ellen: That’s awful. Okay.

JScribbles: Kevin!

MalMuses: But he’s such a fun character to work with because, he’s just this grumpy, pissy little prophet who doesn’t want to be where he is, but eventually realizes that, you know, he’s part of the family in the end. [00:45:00] But watching him be so grumpy while he figures that out is, a favorite thing of mine in fic. And it’s done really well in this one, like the, the pissy Kevin scenes in this fic. I love them.

Ellen: Yes! 

JScribbles: He’s so over it. He’s so over it. I did really enjoy writing those scenes where he was just like, Why are we always getting into trouble? I need to get away from you guys. This is your fault.

Ellen: Yep.

MalMuses: And I think there’s a scene as well where he, makes the comment to Cas that they’re in like the safest place and they need to stay here. And it’s like such a, like Sam and Dean are both just like, whoa, what? Like I can’t believe he actually said that for a split second. And I actually really liked the way you did that because I was like, yeah, like Kevin, it really showed that Kevin is kind of obviously slowly realizing and adjusting to being in the bunker and realizing that, you know, Sam and Dean do only want to protect him at the end of the day.

But I love the way that that jumped out at me because A, it wasn’t Kevin being completely pissy. [00:46:00] And the fact that Sam and Dean both recognized it as well.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So, so what was your favorite scene in this, Scribbs?

JScribbles: Umm …

MalMuses: Either to write or to read because they could be two different things.

JScribbles: Yeah. To, to read, I really like reading the scene where Cas is getting the tattoo.

MalMuses: [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Mainly because it’s just like, gratuitous Dean ogling at him, basically.

Ellen: Yes. 

MalMuses: It’s a thirst trap scene.

JScribbles: Yeah, I gave Cas some freckles too so that Dean could join in on the freckle worship. [ Laughs ] So that was, that was fun to I guess reread, but writing was the scene with the locker.

Ellen: Yeah, that was scary.

JScribbles: Yeah, where Dean is, is hiding in the locker and possessed Cas is kind of villain monologuing him about how Cas doesn’t love him and blah blah blah. [00:47:00] So, I guess it’s a spoiler but not really a spoiler.

MalMuses: Gotta love a good villain monologue though.

JScribbles: I, you know, I know it’s an overused trope but I’m a sucker for villain monologues. 

Ellen: [ Laughs ] Yes.

MalMuses: Yeah. I love them too. I do.

JScribbles: Yeah.

MalMuses: Nothing better than a cocky villain who’s just gonna stand there and spout stuff at you.

Ellen: Uh-huh.

JScribbles: Yeah. It also, I tried to use as many horror movie tropes as I possibly can in this fic. And I think Dean even thinks it while he’s in the locker, he’s like, I’m the Damsel-in-Distress right now from the movies. I’m hiding in the locker from the bad guy.

Ellen: Right, yeah. Cause he’s like a horror movie aficionado anyway, like we found out later, probably after you wrote this, that we had that episode in Season 14.

MalMuses: The one with the monster dude in the comic book store.

Ellen: Yeah, the one with Panthro, Mint Condition.

JScribbles: Yes.

MalMuses: Yes.

Ellen: [00:48:00] So he is, you know, watching horror movies in his “send noods” socks so yeah, and I know that, like a lot of your author notes as you went through this fic, you listed the different movies that you kind of used as inspiration. Did you actually purposely watch a whole bunch of movies before you, like, how did you do that research to work out which tropes you wanted to include?

JScribbles: I just have a lifetime worth of watching horror movies.

Ellen: Fair enough. [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Yeah, to be totally honest with you, just horror movies, they’re great, but they often follow a very similar story structure, I suppose. And the tropes are tropes because they come up in every single horror movie.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: But I have favorites and, and I pulled from them. So, obviously Evil Dead watching so,

Ellen: I think they, you had the Witch, and you had,

JScribbles: [00:49:00] Yes. Such a good horror movie. I want to write a Supernatural fanfic based on The Witch so bad, but there’s really nothing,

MalMuses: Spoilers for the witch in this fic, right?

JScribbles: Yes.

MalMuses: I actually, yeah. As a kind of a little bit of a foreshadowing almost,

Ellen: They chat about it.

MalMuses: Where they’re watching the horror movie within this horror fic. But also a very great scene. One of my favorite scenes, I think, probably.

JScribbles: Yeah, I think it’s like the actual reveal in the movie, so big spoilers.

MalMuses: Yeah, so that was one of my favorite scenes in the fic. The other one probably, part of me just wants to say, when they’re in Walmart and they’re buying clothes and Dean’s thirsting over Cas and how he looks in jeans and a t-shirt, but also, I think one of my favorite scenes was, is it a spoiler to say that there is a scene later where Cas kind of comes back to himself a little bit like the monster lets him out for a few seconds kind of?

JScribbles: Mmm.

MalMuses: [00:50:00] And Cas is hurt at the time and you get some really really good Cas whump in that moment

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: But also just the emotional way that it was written. And I also really have to praise with this fic, there is a lot of action, particularly in like the second half of the story where they’re trapped in the bunker and they’re running away from Taker, but at absolutely no point when I was rereading this fic did I stop and like reread some paragraphs to work out what was going on.

Like, you know, sometimes you’re reading like a really intense fight scene or something like that, and you’re kind of like, Whoa, wait a second. Where are they? What’s happening? Like, you try to work out, like, positionings of people so that things make sense. 

Ellen: Yep.

MalMuses: And at no point did I have to do that in this fic. It was all so clear that even though there was a lot going on, you just didn’t question anything. It made perfect sense. It was like a movie playing out in my head.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: That’s a relief because I hate writing action. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: You did such a good job on this one though. [00:51:00] I think my favorite part of it, I’ve got a lot of, like, favorite, like, scenes that I think were written the best, but I really loved … now, how am I going to say this without spoiling it? It’s the bit where, where Cas finally does read the page from the book. So the bit where, like, he’s, he, he has a lot of nightmares, basically, in this, in this fic, but that one particular one where he goes, I don’t want to spoil it, but he goes into part of the bunker and, and there’s like, you know, that whole section was absolutely terrifying.

And I was on the edge of my seat, like I’m, I didn’t read it last night because I couldn’t, I didn’t want to read it in the dark, basically. So I’m sitting there this morning with my coffee in my hand, I’m outside, like in the sun. I’m thinking oh my God, this is so freaky. So yeah, I love that section.

JScribbles: That’s another one that has a lot of like horror movie tropes in it.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: [00:52:00] With reading from a book and you know, the floating and the all that jazz.

Ellen: Yeah. So good.

JScribbles: The deep hellish voice and yeah.

Ellen: And I also love how just through the whole fic, Dean is just so worried. Because the whole time he’s just like, what is going on? Something weird is happening here. He’s like a mother hen. 

JScribbles: Yeah, he’s super mother hen.

MalMuses: And I think that was done really well in this fic as well, because it actually, I think showed a very canon trait of Dean’s where he can almost get like tunnel vision about certain things. Where he wants to get a certain thing done a certain way and he fails to consider the implications of that,

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: And and, in this case his tunnel vision is Cas.

Ellen: Yes.

MalMuses: And it doesn’t necessarily end well. I actually really love the end of this fic because for such a intense horror based fic, [00:53:00] the ending of it, despite all the terrible kind of things that have happened, just felt so, like, hopeful, and it, like, it just gave me, like, a nice kind of warm, fuzzy feeling inside, even though all these terrible things had just occurred. It, it really tied it up so nicely in terms of, you have so much hope for Dean and Cas’s emotional arc in this at the end of it.

And you’re like, well, if they can get through everything that they just went through, then they are fine. [ Laughs ] They are good at this point. And I really, really liked it.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: So, not necessarily just a happy ending, but just an ending that really made everything that they’ve been through feel worth it as a reader.

Ellen: Yes.

MalMuses: They would probably disagree that it was worth it. [ Laughs ] I don’t know. But for a reader, it was, it really packed that like satisfying punch at the end. 

JScribbles: Yeah, it was really hard to figure out how to end this because it’s like, supposed to mimic like an action-packed horror movie and usually horror movies end with everybody dying.

Ellen: Yeah [ Laughs ].

JScribbles: [00:54:00] So I was like, well, what do I do now that these characters survive.

MalMuses: So, well, there you go. There’s one trope you didn’t use.

JScribbles: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Ellen: Oh, well, the other thing to say about this one too, is that the, because it was for DeanCas Big Bang, it has artwork in it. And I think your artist was Jdragon, is that right?

JScribbles: Yes.

Ellen: And they made some really amazing, like you’ve got GIFs in there and like animated images that are just really beautiful. Like, I guess they’re not beautiful, they’re horri…, they’re horrific. [ Laughs ] But in a really nice way.

JScribbles: Beautiful art, yeah, but.

MalMuses: Very, very creepy art.

JScribbles: A lot of red.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: I did really like the scene break art that Jdragon did. Jdragon’s handle is Jdragon122.

MalMuses: [00:55:00] And it’s,So in tune with the fic, like, even the coloring in the art, like, you can see that Jdragon actually really paid attention to the story and the Evil Dead and everything that’s going on here because even like the coloring and everything in it just really kind of vibed really well with the entire story and what was happening. So.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: They were so amazing to work with, just like very in tune with the story and, and open to like working in a, you know, collaborative way and yeah, just like a pleasure to work with.

Ellen: Oh, that’s what you need in an artist, isn’t it? With any collaboration. That’s good.

MalMuses: I think there’s nothing better than when you teamed up with an artist for something and you just kind of click with them and you’re both on the same page about the story and the art and making it, you know, a team and what comes out of it.

And you can get some really amazing art that way. I’ve actually done a story with Jdragon myself, which was also kind of a horror, horror kind of thing. And I can definitely confirm that working with them was pretty amazing. [00:56:00] I was super pleased with how that collaboration turned out. 

So, so Scribbs, what was the hardest scene to write for this? ‘Cause you have a lot of kind of very technical and horror filled scenes. So was that a challenge technically on the writing front?

JScribbles: Yeah, there was a couple scenes that I really struggled with. So in the movie, there’s a scene of Mia, who’s the main character, and she’s kind of running through the forest. And there’s these really, like, fast scenes where it’s, like, cutting to her. And I kind of wanted to mimic that in the fic. So I wanted, there’s a scene where I believe Cas is in the forest, and then it’s kind of cutting back to Sam and Dean, they’re reading out loud, if I remember correctly. It’s been so long since I wrote it.

MalMuses: Yep.

JScribbles: But anyways, I had to cut back and forth between them and try to make it seem like a, like an action scene in a movie. [00:57:00] And I had to rewrite that probably like three or four times because it just wasn’t translating well. And yeah, so I really struggled to do that. I ended up just, just making the scenes longer, like the cut scenes in between.

Because I mean, it’s not, it’s not the same medium as a movie obviously, so it doesn’t translate the same. But that was a struggle, and just because I had a running theme through the, uh, through the fic as well of kind of like mud and dirt and blood and like that kind of theme and imagery, and so I was really beginning to struggle with, What is another word for mud?

MalMuses and Ellen: [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: [ Laughs ] How do I say grimy so many times before I’m just repeating myself and it’s not intriguing to read.

Ellen: Yeah.

JScribbles: Yeah, that was kind of a struggle. But yeah, I was like interesting, I had to definitely do a lot of research on how to write horror because I never had, [00:58:00] at that point I think I, I’d written like a comedy and just some other random fanfics.

MalMuses: Yeah, because it is a very specific type of writing in not just like the word choice but the actual style that you choose to write in and even, even the formatting of it, I think. Because I know I learned a lot from you when you did write this fic. And so I like a lot of your influence writing this and a lot of what you learned was what then I leaned on when I did horror things later.

So you’ve got, got Scribbs to thank for quite a lot of horror fic in this fandom, even the ones she didn’t write. So, but it’s, there’s definitely a specific style to it, I think, to doing this kind of thing that I’m sure can work for other fics, but works particularly well for this kind of thing.

in terms of choosing kind of sentence length to build tension, um, and you do that really, really well in this fic. There are like whole scenes where if they had just been written slightly differently, wouldn’t be scary at all. [00:59:00] But because of the way they’re written and like they’re building tension throughout the scene, by the time you get to the end of it, you’re kind of like on the edge of your seat and you’re like, okay, I’m not sure what just happened, but I’m really tense now. [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Yeah, so I noticed that in deathbanjo’s Bringing Up The Deep, they had that kind of varied sentence structure as well, that I talked about earlier, and it kind of, when I had been doing my horror writing research, they were talking about really focusing on the senses. So what you can smell, what you can hear. And a heartbeat, so when you’re writing smaller sentences, you’re kind of invoking that quick heartbeat, as opposed to a longer sentence, which is kind of more slower,

Ellen: Oooh!

JScribbles: And yeah, so when you’re trying to create uh, like kind of a panic tension, write in smaller, choppier sentences, because your, your brain kind of finishes the sentences before it’s ready, if that makes any sense.

Ellen: [01:00:00] Yeah, that’s so interesting.

JScribbles: Yeah, and so, so I noticed that with deathbanjo’s, basically especially right at the beginning where one example is they wrote, Jack’s heart hammers in his chest. Slowly he creeps out of the wheelhouse. Water sloshes around his boots as he walks. The noise deafening the sudden silence. He holds his breath in a way that makes his, Sorry, he holds his breath as he makes his way to the bow.

So it’s like really quick, choppy sentences that, it’s almost like in a movie where there’s really quick jump cuts. It basically doesn’t invoke calm.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: And another thing that I kind of learned while doing research for Takers was, like I said, kind of focusing on heartbeat and breathing. Because the idea is your reader is going to mimic that as well. So if they’re, you know reading about a quickened heartbeat pounding in your chest, blood rushing in your ears, [01:01:00] even this describing this, a sound of silence or repetitive noises or smells, I find that people don’t really describe smells a lot in fanfic, which is like, it’s kind of sad because it works really well to, to create a memory.

Ellen: Unless you’re writing, like, A/B/O or something.

JScribbles: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. [laughs]

JScribbles: But yeah, I mean, that was, those were a couple things that I learned, that really focusing on the senses and, and describing sensations that you would feel in panic, breathing, heartbeat, et cetera.

MalMuses: Yeah, I think with the breathing thing, there was a part that I noticed during one of the kind of early parts in the bunker where, it’s kind of all kind of ramping up, you had a section where there was kind of a longer sentence, and it was almost like I felt like I was kind of holding my breath, waiting to get to the end of it, waiting to see what would happen. [01:02:00] And then it was followed up by just a very short kind of sudden sentence. And it was, it was obviously very deliberate the way that you’d done it. But it was kind of like you, as you are reading, you end up kind of holding your breath along with the story so that the punctuation becomes where you’re allowed to breathe.

Ellen: Oh, yeah.

MalMuses: And it was really really effective in that because it built the tension up and then suddenly like really stick with this tiny, it may have just been, like, a couple of words, like, that you used after, in this, like, tiny sentence that kind of released the tension you’d been building up. Yeah, I think that’s a really specific thing that you can do with horror, whereas usually when we’re writing fic, we’re trying our best to be really clear about everything and make sure that everything in the scene is described very, very concisely and sharply so people know what’s going on.

But I think with this particular genre, there’s almost a point where you want to deliberately break that down and have it, have it not work as well. [01:03:00] Because you want to kind of be there with the character where they’re, they’re not paying attention to those details, they are freaking out, they’re focusing on the wrong things. They, things aren’t making sense to them.

And I think it’s very effective at that point to, to break, break that rule that we usually have where we’re trying to make things as clear as possible. Because at some point they’re not clear, they’re just frightening and the character doesn’t know what’s happening.

Ellen: Yeah, I think you did this really well in this fic with Cas especially, because he does spend quite a lot of this fic actually freaking out and being terrified of what’s happening to him. 

JScribbles: Yeah, [ Laughs ] he just panics for like 120,000 words basically.

Ellen: Yeah, it was very effective. So thanks for coming to chat to us about Taker of Souls, Scribbs.

Other recommendations [1:03:45]

So we’ve got like a whole list of other fics to recommend that, we think might be spooky kind of Halloween fics. [01:04:00] So some of these fics are like of this disturbing horror variety and others of them are just kind of Halloween themed fics. So they involve ghosts or vampires or whatever that like a lot of, I think a lot of Halloween kind of theme fics tend to be quite short fics because there’s a lot of Halloween kind of, you know, writing challenges and stuff that go on around this time of year that people tend to write shorter things for,

JScribbles: Mm-hmm.

Ellen: But some of the, the things that we’ve got in the list here are longer that have been written for Bangs and, and things like that. So there’s going to be a great big list on the, on the blog post, but we might shout out just a few of them.

MalMuses: Yeah. I think it’s almost impossible to talk about horror in a Destiel sense without mentioning The Inexhaustible Silence of Houses. It’s a, an older fic now, it was published back in 2012, written by Askance, I think they pronounced that? I’m not sure. [01:05:00] And it is sort of a, I would say a post canon fic almost, it’s kind of two years after the world doesn’t end, is how they phrase it. And it’s a story that begins with Cas falling, kind of losing his voice in the process. This fic is very, very spooky. 

It’s written really, really well. I would say it’s probably, in terms of horror fics, my kind of like absolute kind of pinnacle of what you can, what you can do with that kind of psychological horror. It’s definitely one that you, if you have very specific kind of squicks about things, find somebody that, that’s read it, so that you can check that it’s, it’s okay with you.

‘Cause it’s one that is not tagged a lot at all because it’s, you know, you don’t, you don’t want to know what’s going to happen with this. If it’s going to be, if it’s going to be effective, then having, [01:06:00] having it really heavily tagged would spoil a lot of this fic. So if there’s something very specific that you want to avoid, it’s, it’s probably pretty easy to find someone that’s read this fic, because it’s a very popular one and hugely, hugely creepy.

It’s got the whole kind of, almost like haunted house kind of feel to it where he, Cas is kind of seeing and hearing things that he’s not sure if the house itself is alive or if there’s something wrong with him. It’s, it’s, it’s very fascinating. Like I said, it’s that kind of, like, psychological horror which I really enjoy. So, had to mention that one.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: Is that the one where he gets swallowed by the floor?

MalMuses: Yeah, I think he does get swallowed by the floor.

JScribbles: Oh yeah, I remember that one.

MalMuses: It was so good, but like, I have to be like, look, find somebody who’s read it if you have, like, squicks, because.

JScribbles: Yeah. [ Laughs ]

Ellen: [01:07:00] So, when I asked on Twitter for people to tell us fics that they found really scary, I think that was one of the main ones that people mentioned, but one that people mentioned that they, they said had stuck with them for a long time was also, was called Every Part of the Animal, but, which is also by Askance, and komodobits wrote, like co-wrote it, who is the person who wrote Ninety-One Whiskey, is that correct?

MalMuses: Yeah, I think so.

Ellen: So this one, it, it sounds like, it’s like a hunt, so it’s a, a canon fic, and it’s about werewolves and there’s a lot of gore involved in this one. Like there’s, I’m pretty sure there’s Major Character Death, there’s like body horror in this, so just, mindful of the tags and don’t kind of go into it, you know, lightheartedly. [ Laughs ]

[01:08:00] But there were quite a few people who said that they really loved this one and that it stuck with them and they thought it was brilliant, so. 

On a lighter note, I will add that most recently, I have not read this yet either, our friend that we’ve spoken about before, Tricia, has written Hocus Pocus, Destiel version of the movie, Hocus Pocus.

JScribbles: Oh, my god!

Ellen: Yeah. So that’s only,

JScribbles: That is so exciting! [ Laughs ]

Ellen: It’s only just, she’s only just published it in the last few weeks. If you know the movie, then you know it’s about witches in Salem, Massachusetts, and some high schoolers who you know, have to deal with them. So, go and check that one out. That’s, yeah. It sounds like a lot of fun.

JScribbles: [ Unclear ] that one.

Ellen: Yep. Scribbs, did you have one that you want, would like to recommend?

JScribbles: Absolutely, I’m really surprised that’s not on your list, it’s like, my favorite horror movie, or horror, sorry, horror fic of all time. [01:09:00] Like, it has stuck with me. And there are scenes that I, sometimes I just randomly think about it and just think, wow, that was amazing. It’s A Complete Kingdom by komodobits.

Ellen: Yep.

JScribbles: I mean, I don’t want to spoil it, I did get the same kind of feeling from Bring Up The Deep by deathbanjo, actually. But yeah, I mean, definitely, definitely pay attention to the tags there. There’s quite a bit in there that I think that, I think in particular Major Character Death. But definitely worth a read if you can, if you can stand the, the Major Character Death because it is just expertly crafted horror. It’s really, really good.

Ellen: Yeah, I think that’s another one of the ones that the people on Twitter told me that had stuck with them and they couldn’t stop thinking about it even years after they’d read it. [01:10:00] We’ve got some talented horror writers in this fandom.

MalMuses: Which makes sense. The origins of the show, I guess, probably are a lot of horror fans in this, in this fandom.

Ellen: One of the ones I was going to mention briefly was suggested by our friend Krista and also my, a friend, WaywardJenn, also recently read it and said that she really loved it, so I started reading it. I’ve read a few chapters of it now. It’s called Autumn Hollow, and by shotgunsinlace. It’s a little bit longer than all these other ones we’ve mentioned, but it’s like a, an author Castiel Novak, who moves to an island off the coast of Maine to sort of get away from his previous life and there’s some haunted houses and kind of weird things going on there and it’s, it’s quite creepy.

[01:11:00] It’s a little bit like the feeling of the beginning of Bring Up the Deep where you’re not quite that there’s something, you know, creepy about this town and you’re not really sure what it is, but yeah, I’m only like four or five chapters into that and it’s you know, starting to get, things are starting to happen and it’s all a bit weird. So yeah, I think it’s a ghosty thing.

JScribbles: Mmm.

Ellen: And yeah, I’m enjoying it so far. 

JScribbles: I’m gonna have to check literally all of those out.

Ellen: Yeah.

MalMuses: Okay, so another one that we want to mention is a fic by Desirae. It’s 48,000 words and it’s called Dean Winchester is Not Afraid of Ghosts. So this is an AU, but kind of a ghost hunting AU, so we still have some of those aspects that we’re used to, but Dean is a photographer in this story, um, and Cas is the one who is a, like a self-proclaimed medium in this story and Dean doesn’t believe any of it.

[01:12:00] Things change throughout the story, I’m not gonna give any, any spoilers what happens in this story. It’s a really wonderful fic. There’s actually currently a sequel to it posting, which I think has a little bit left to post on. But that’s a really good story that I think it was also a couple of years old now. I think it was published in 2018.

One of the tags on this, which I, which I really like, actually described quite well. They say, “think ghost hunters, not ghost facers”. So it’s,

Ellen: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Yeah, it’s definitely a ghost hunting AU, kind of a paranormal sort of thing. It’s, it’s really good. It’s really gripping. It’s one that I read so that I could start reading the sequel. And I really, really enjoyed it. So I’m gonna recommend that to everybody.

Ellen: Awesome, I feel like I need to read that one too. [01:13:00] So, one last one I’ll mention is Family Business by EvilNobara and pbMolecules. This is a much longer one, which is a sort of a fandom favourite I think. Which is another ghost hunter one I think. Is it actually a ghost hunter fic? I’m just trying to remember exactly.

So, I think what happens is, so Cas and Gabriel, they inherit this big family estate and it turns out it’s haunted. But they, they’re going to do it up, like they’re going to renovate it and they call the, like the Winchester brothers who are experts at restoring buildings.

And between, like this involves both Destiel and Sabriel, so if you’re into you know, Sam and Gabriel together, then this one’s, it’s for you, it’s, there are ghosts in this house and they, they do, all of them have to kind of work out what’s happening with the ghosts and, and solve basically a case but it’s not, it’s not canon, it’s just them in a scary house basically.

[01:14:00] But it’s like a, it’s 150,000 words or something and it’s, it’s really well done so, it’s worth a read. I really enjoyed that one. I read it a few years ago now, I think, and it’s sort of stuck with me as one that I remember really enjoying reading. So, yeah, worth a read.

MalMuses: Thank you for coming to talk with us about your excellent horror fic and discussing scary things in Supernatural and writing scary scenes with us. It was a joy to have you.

JScribbles: Thank you for having me. It’s been so fun. I love talking about horror movie stuff and horror fics and the genre and Destiel, obviously, and Castiel’s freckly body.

MalMuses: [ Laughs ]

JScribbles: Anyways, thanks!

Ellen: Oh my God. We’re all going back to that chapter after this.

MalMuses: I mean, he has one freckle, everybody knows about that freckle, right? So.

Ellen: [ Laughs ]

MalMuses: Stands to reason, there’s gotta be more of them

JScribbles: They’re leaving out all the other freckles.

Ellen: [ Laughs ] Well, hopefully we’ve also given you a few more fics to add to your list as well.

JScribbles: Yes, yeah, I’m going to be scouring the list that you post for Halloween fun.

Ellen: Yeah! Well, we will be posting all of the fics that we’ve talked about in a big list on, so go and check that out. You can also, if you’d like to contact us and tell us what you thought about the fics that we’ve talked about today or any suggestions that you might have for future topics or anything you want to ask us, you can contact us on any of our social media. It’s all at MixTape Book Club, mostly, with various punctuation.

You can find all that information on the website, [01:16:00] And, or you can get in touch by emailing us if you want at as well. So, you know, our next episode because the next couple of episodes are going to be, the show is sort of coming to an end. We know that the next few episodes are going to emotionally ruin us.

We, we are hoping to have some more fluffy topics to talk about in the next couple of episodes. So in, in this case, in, in two weeks time our next episode is going to be about Fake Relationships. So we’re going to be talking about all sorts of ways that Dean and Cas can pretend to be in a relationship and then end up in a real relationship, which is one of our favorite fluffy tropes. [ Laughs ] So make sure you tune in next time to hear about that and thank you very much for listening and we’ll talk to you again soon.

MalMuses: And remember, the story ends when we say it does.

[ Outro music ]​

MalMuses: Oh hey Kilo! Do you want to come say hello? Oh, you just ate. Lovely, you smell of wet food. Great.

[rustling noise] Oh, don’t nuzzle the microphone…ow! oh my god, kitten claws are the worst…

[kitten mews]

Jscribbs: Kitten bites! Oh, kitten mews!

[more kitten mews]

MalMuses: She’s very interested in this microphone, and very mad that I won’t let her have it.