Always Bring Your Own Salt – a Supernatural Fanfic

Always Bring Your Own Salt

a Supernatural Fanfic by Meghan Brunner

Characters aren’t mine. I’m just borrowing them for fun.

NOTE: Did you know salt has an expiration date? I noticed one on my hand grinder and wondered what’s the point of that? Then I realized the point is probably something like this…

It’s not long. It’s not fancy. But hopefully it’ll make you laugh.


“Was she worth it?” Dean demanded, more than a little annoyed, as he braced his shoulder against the door. It wasn’t going to help for long, but it might buy them a little time.

“Dean, that’s not helping,” Sam snapped. He turned to the idiot tweenager they were trying to protect (this one’s name was Jeff) and tried for a calm voice. Urgent, because there were important issues here, but the kid was already close to losing his shit, and that was the other last thing they needed. “Have you got any salt?”

Jeff glanced around the kitchen, lost, as if he’d been asked to retrieve the Arc of the Covenant. “Salt?” he squeaked, voice breaking. Jesus, the kid hadn’t even sprouted three armpit hairs yet, probably.

“Yes. Salt. Your mom probably cooks with it?”

“Why do you need salt?”

Just get the fucking salt,” Dean yelled as something big thumped into the other side of the door. He winced.

The thing howled.

So did another… from the other side of the house.

Jeff scrambled around the kitchen, opening every cupboard he could find.  Sam was doing the same. Dean abandoned his post at the door and joined them. Thing would be through in minutes whether he was there or not, anyway.

“Here!” the boy cried triumphantly, holding up a cardboard canister.

Dean snatched it from his hand, ripped open the spout, and started pouring… when a row of printing across the top caught his eye. “Son of a bitch! This expired last year!”

The boy stared at him. “Salt expires? It’s just salt.”

“Oh, sure, that’s what everybody says,” Dean mocked, “and then it’s all ‘Help me, quick, they’re after me!’ when there’s a hellhound about to take a big fat bite out of their ass! You have to keep up with this stuff!”

“Like fire extinguishers?”

Yes. Like fucking fire extinguishers.

“Dean! Catch!”

He reached up on instinct at his brother’s call, snagged a hand grinder out of the air. It was one of those fancy-ass pieces of foodie posturing with the pink stuff. “Ain’t nobody got time for that shit!”

“Well, it’s the best we’ve got.”

“Son of a bitch,” Dean muttered, and started to grind as Sam went back to looking.

“My little sister has one of those lamps with the basket of salt rocks in her bedroom! I’ll go -”

“NO!” the Winchesters chorused.

Sam grabbed the kid by the arm and hauled him back from his attempted dash down the hallway. “You just stay in the circle while we figure this out. I’ll go get the lamp. Maybe we can use it as ammo.”

“My sister’s room’s upstairs, at the end of the hall.”

Sam took off.

“Was she worth it? Your little Susan or Jessica or whoever you made your bargain for? I goddamn hope she was worth it.” Dean repeated from between gritted teeth. Fuck his arm was starting to hurt, and all for what?

Sure, he’d invoked his share of decisions that ended badly, including one that ended with hellhounds, but at least his was for good reason. Not that he was going to let this kid get dragged off. He knew what was waiting for Jeff better than anybody, and no stupid-ass teenager mistake deserved that kind of a punishment.

Jeff looked at him for a moment. “Yeah,” he finally said, voice quiet.

Dean stopped grinding and gave him a flat look. “Seriously? Hellhounds were worth -”

“The guy who showed up, he said he could make Dad not drink and beat my mom anymore. He said he could make Dad nice. Could make us a family. And it worked. Even if those things take me… it was worth it.”

Dean just stared.

Son. of. a. bitch.

“We’ll get you out of this,” he said, though fuck if he knew how. They hadn’t had time to hit the Impala for supplies.

“Can’t you hurry it up?” Sam demanded as he dashed back into the room.

“You do it!” Dean snapped. “My arm’s killing me.”

Sam snatched the grinder out of his hand. “That’s it. You’re banned from BustyAsianBeauties dot com for life.”

“Wait!” Jeff said, dashing to the cupboards.

“Dammit, Jeff -”

“But I’ve got an idea!”


Dean had never been happier to see a shitty motel room in his life.

Well, okay, maybe the first shitty motel room he’d been in after hell. But after that…

“I still can’t believe that worked,” Sam said, dropping into the chair. “I didn’t even know hellhounds could explode like that.”

“Well, it wouldn’t have mattered if that demon hadn’t been amused enough to let Jeff out of his contract,” Dean pointed out. “Though I guess we make up a canteen of roast beef flavored ramen broth and add it to the arsenal. Who knew hellhounds had a taste for the stuff?”

Fan Tribute Roundup: Frozen

(c) Walt Disney Studios

Fan fiction and fan art: I’m sure I don’t have to explain the awesomeness of these things to any geek. They have the added benefit of being electronic, so it’s easier to enjoy them without kids immediately sniffing out what you’re doing and interrupting you.

And okay, I’ll admit it: I love Frozen, and not just in some Stockholm Syndrome way because it was the first movie my kid fell in love with and I was allowed to listen to nothing but the soundtrack for months on end. I was really sad when she moved on to other things, declaring she just wasn’t that into it anymore.

So, deprived of my friends from Arendelle, I went searching for new ways to get my fix. Here is the best of what I discovered:



Songs of Ice and Snow by thefireplanet – This is my all-time favorite. The characterization is beautiful, and it does really well with the backstory for Hans. THIS should be the sequel Disney makes.

Just This Heart With Too Much To Share by professorspork – Tangled/Frozen crossover, and while I don’t usually love crossovers, this one at least makes sense. Characterization is good. Tons of smut (I think we’re all adults here, right? Not everything needs to be rated PG) but it’s well-written smut.

Bribery, Force, and Other Nefarious Tactics by yumi michiyo- Kid-Anna and kid-Elsa and that damned closed door. You know Anna would’ve done more than just knock. She would’ve gotten creative.

Breathe by Karis the Fangirl – A sweet little hurt/comfort fic. You know after the events of the movie, Anna must’ve had nightmares. And you know Kristoff wouldn’t have let her endure them alone.

The Ice Palace by Karis the Fangirl – Alternate Universe, which isn’t usually my thing, but this one is short and so beautifully done. Fairy tale feel, set in 1945.

Compromise by Bittersweet and Strange – Kristoff and Anna have a lot of compromising to make their relationship work. Loved the writing style.



Nightliight’s gallery – Homey, happy scenes! Also adorable (but for some reason not in that gallery) is Family – baby Kristoff and his parents!

Lily-fox’s gallery -My favorite is Comfort Food.

Godohelp’s gallery – Love the use of color!


These are my favorites – have you found good fan tributes I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments!

For the Love of Lists: the Wonders of Toodledo


I’d like to talk about the one thing that makes parenting, household management – and indeed, my very sanity (what remains of it) – possible: lists.

I love lists. Grocery lists, errand lists, project lists, sub-lists of the steps for various projects on various lists. When a day is extra frazzled, lists keep me centered, and there’s no feeling quite like getting to scratch a line through a task. (Hands up if you’ve ever written something on a list just to cross it off. I know I have, and it absolutely counts!)

Maybe you have the same problems I do, though. Lists wander off. They get so many items scratched off (if you’re lucky!) that it’s hard to parse them at a glance. They don’t get finished, so you have to make a new one for tomorrow. It isn’t hard for lists to become a time sink, even if they’re a necessary one.

Enter Toodledo.

I’ve tried a few online list apps, but Toodledo won my heart (and brain). Here’s why:

  1. It’s Free
    Let’s face it, free is the perfect price for most of us. Yes, there’s a paid version that is more robust, and perhaps you’ll find it’s worth it, but for my needs the free version works great.
  2. Notes Section
    Every task you enter has a section for notes. It’s a great place for grocery lists, phone numbers, directions to a party, or any other relevant info.
  3. Scheduling
    You can set due dates on things, even if what you mean by “due” is “I really hope I get to this today.” If you don’t, it’s easy to change the due date to the next most likely opportunity.
  4. Recurring Tasks
    This is the one that really won me. There are so many adult tasks that are important but only happen occasionally: change the furnace filter, schedule the kid’s well child appointment with the pediatrician, dust the ceiling fan, order heartworm medicine for the cats, etc. Every time I do something of that sort, I enter it as a task, set the recurrence frequency, and release it from that cloud of thoughts that ambushes me at one in the morning when I’m trying to sleep. The options go from as simple as daily/monthly/quarterly/etc. to things like “every weekday” or “every Tuesday and Thursday.”
  5. Sorting
    Toodledo lets you create and assign folders. Characters To Level Up, Projects, Responsible Adult Crap… whatever covers it for you. You can also define/sort by context, location, and several other fields. I mostly use folders, but I’m sure others would find the additional fields insanely handy.
  6. Add Multiple Tasks
    If you have several tasks that need to be entered with the same folder, due date, etc., there’s an option to add multiple tasks at once. I’ve found this especially handy when listing component parts of a project.

The really great thing about this, though, is that with a little creativity you can make anything part of it.

For example, I have a folder for birthdays and other important dates (*cough* release date of the next Star Wars movie *cough*). For gift-giving occasions, I have a separate task set a week or two ahead to remind me to shop for a present. I keep a list of gifts given and ideas for the future in the notes section. This is especially handy if you, like I, like giving books but can never recall what you’ve given to whom.

Also, I have a folder for tasks related to performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. I have several tasks set to weekly (wash garb, pack garb, pack food, etc.), some set to yearly (pack med kit, pack bug spray/sunscreen, condition boots at the end of the run…), and one for the expiration year for my ID badge so I know when I need to send a fresh picture to The Powers That Be. It’s also a great place to note any costume repairs or necessary accessory replacements/additions so there are no rude surprises the night before Opening Day. I haven’t gotten involved in the convention scene, but I imagine something similar might be useful for those.

It does take about a year to get it to auto-pilot status, but that’s more a function of writing tasks down as you encounter them rather than any issue with the software itself. If you have a calendar or planner with tasks that you copy from one year to the next, your setup could be significantly faster than mine was.

So, there you have it: my secret thing that makes all things possible. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me!

Now far ahead the Road has gone / And I must follow, if I can.

(c) Meghan Brunner, 2016

I’m sure there’s a Venn diagram somewhere with a big overlap between nerdy moms and blogger moms, but why not make the overlap just a bit bigger?

Herein, thou shalt find bits and pieces of things that made me laugh, things I found helpful, things I found tremendously unhelpful, and anything else that seems like it might those who happen upon my pages.

A bit about me:

My name is Meghan Brunner.

I’m a homeschooling mama of one five-year-old daughter whom I fondly call Podlet. We work at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival together (she’s been there since a week after her birth; I’ve been there since 1994).  I try to be a fun mom. Sometimes that works better than others. Mostly I want her to grow up to be all those awesome things one would hope to get as gifts from fairy godmothers, except without the actual fairy godmothers.

I’ve also written some books.

If you dig urban fantasy (set at Renaissance Faire, gosh, who would’ve seen that coming?) check out my Faire-Folk(R) fiction.

If you’d like to read my book of parenting humor, honesty, and haiku, check out Flailing in the Right Direction – available in .pdf, but the paperback version is great for any gift-giving occasion you can imagine </shameless plug>.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll return soon!