Introducing Secondary Characters Part 3/3

These are a few of the secondary characters in Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers.

See Part 1 and Part 2

In order of appearance:

Rachel

Appearance inspired by Aimee Carrero

Age: 20

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Dark hair and tan skin

Job: Student in third year at Westmeath University, working in sales at Discreet Frills

Connection to Protagonists: Coworker of Kennedy’s, was babysat by Jason when they were younger

Nick

Appearance inspired by Colton Haynes

Age: 23

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Grey eyes

Job: Head server at The Hawaiian in Oldtown

Connection to Protagonists: Works at Jason’s restaurant

Jesse

Appearance inspired by Tom Cavanagh

Age: mid-50s

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Tall and thin, greying hair

Job: Owns and operates Mortimer’s Diner in Oldtown

Connection to Protagonists: Jason loves his Hungry Man’s breakfast

The Painting, Part 1

This is a republish of the short story I wrote in 2016 and won an award with. We realized I had never posted it on our own website, so here it is.


I blinked, trying to see in the dimmer light inside the – where was I? Oh yes, the restaurant. A multi-faceted crystal chandelier hung from the ceiling, drawing my eye. I turned around, looking at the décor, and caught a glimpse of a server drawing a curtain over a painting.

“Oh wow,” I murmured under my breath. I could recognize the swirls in the painting anywhere. “Hey!” I raised my voice slightly. “Is that another painting in Van Gogh’s Starry Night series?” I squinted, trying to see through the dim foyer, while moving towards the painting.

He hurriedly finished drawing the curtain, blocking my view.

Disappointed, I stepped back. Something about the painting was not quite right. Before I could concentrate on what, I heard my name.

“Sophie! You finally made it!”

I spun, stepping into my husband’s arms. “George!” My eyes unexpectedly filled with tears. “Sorry I’m late.”

“Nothing to cry about, darling.” He brushed his fingers under my eyes to wipe away the tears. “We’ve only just been called to our table.”

I smiled shakily up at him. The light refracted through my tears, making his blond hair glow.

We followed the maître-d’ into the dining room. The various aromas tickled my nose, the combination making my stomach churn a bit. The tables were teardrop shaped, tucked into rounded booths that provided privacy to the diners. There was a surprising amount of room inside each section. On the walls were exquisite paintings; Monet, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Da Vinci.

I tugged on George’s arm as we navigated our way through the maze of tables. “Can we look at the art after dinner? You know how much I like Van Gogh.”

“Of course, sweetheart,” he replied.

The maître-d’ stopped at a table with two other couples and pulled out a chair. “Madame?” He gestured for me to sit, and placed George at my side.

“This is different,” I said, smiling at the other guests after sitting in my chair. “Sophie,” I introduced myself. “And my husband George.”

“Daphne and John,” replied the redheaded woman to my right. “We just got married three days ago!”

“Congratulations!” I exclaimed.

“Andrea and Felix,” said the blonde across from me. She had thin, angular features. “How far along are you?”

Startled at the question, I looked down at my slightly protruding belly and gave it a tiny rub. “Just past twelve weeks,” I said. “I’m not used to people noticing. It depends on what shirt I wear.”

“Humans have such an interesting gestation period,” said John.

“I’d rather the nine months than the elephant’s two years!” I said, and we all laughed.

“Do you know the gender?” asked Daphne.

“Oh, no, not yet,” I smiled ruefully. “I don’t get to find that out until sometime around week twenty.”

A waiter appeared between George and Felix. “Something to drink, Madame?” he asked me.

“Just water, please,” I replied. A painting on the wall across from us caught my eye, and I pointed it out to George. “Look at that Monet! It looks so vivid, I could almost jump into the river.”

George laughed. “Such an imagination!” He kissed my hand.

The waiter brought me a glass, and I left it in front of me without taking a sip.

“Not thirsty?” asked Andrea.

“No, not really.” I paused. “Actually, I feel rather full at the moment.” I frowned, confused. “Did I eat before coming here?” I didn’t think I had, but I couldn’t remember.

“You probably just need to visit the ladies room,” interjected George. He ran a soft hand over my belly. “You are pregnant, after all.”

My thoughts cleared. “You’re probably right. Where is the washroom?”

Fortunately, it was within sight of the table, so I would be able to find my way back on my own, as the paths between the booths were as twisted as a maze.

As I sat on the toilet, I examined the painting on the back of the door and considered the other art in the restaurant. “Van Gogh,” I murmured. “I haven’t seen any other Van Gogh here. That’s weird. And the one in the front lobby was one I’ve never seen before.” I thought about the part of the painting that I caught a quick glimpse of. “There was a large full moon, over a meadow.” I shook my head and got up to wash my hands. “I wonder what the name might be.”

I headed back to the table, but didn’t sit down. When George stood up to let me by, I said, “I’m really not hungry yet. Can we look at the paintings now?”

George gave a sigh and smirked at our tablemates. “Whatever you want, darling.” He took me by the hand and we started walking from painting to painting, admiring how realistic the paintings looked.

“These look so perfect!” I exclaimed, astonished. “Surely they can’t all be originals?”

A waiter passing behind us overheard me, and interjected, “Oh yes, Madame. All the art pieces in our restaurant are originals. The ones in the Hu-“

George coughed sharply.

“Museums are just copies,” smoothly continued the waiter.

“Wow!” I stared around, wide-eyed. There were at least fifty paintings within my sight, and I knew there were more beyond that. “Those are some impeccable forgeries in the museums, but I can definitely see how these paintings are more…” I searched for the right word. “Full. Three-dimensional, almost. Are there any other paintings by Van Gogh?”

“Other?” asked the waiter, swallowing hard. “We don’t have any paintings by Van Gogh. The quality of his work wasn’t enough to stand with the masters.”

I stared. “Are we talking about the same painter? The genius who died not knowing the brilliance of his work? I definitely saw a painting by him at the entrance.”

“You must have been mistaken, dear,” laughed George, his hand tightening on mine. “If the waiter says there are no Van Gogh paintings here, he would know.”

“I know what I saw.” My chin jutted out stubbornly, and I tried to let go of my husband’s hand. “I’ve never seen that particular painting, but the style was obviously by Van Gogh. It was of the same feel as his Starry Night series, except in this particular painting, the moon dominated the scene, over a meadow. Don’t you remember, George? You were there too.” When George shook his head, I sighed impatiently. “It was beautiful! I wonder what he named that painting. Moonlight over Meadows, perhaps? Or Moonlight over the Moor? Or ooh!” I wiggled in excitement. “We’re in Ireland! Maybe it’s Moonlight over Faerie!”

A piercing alarm went off.


Part 2 will come out next week!

Introducing Secondary Characters Part 2/3

These are a few of the secondary characters in Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers.

See Part 1 here.

In order of appearance:

Zhanna and Lydia Turgeneva

Appearance inspired by Jackie Burroughs and Cloris Leachman

Age: Unknown (very old)

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Old, hunched demeanor, Lydia uses a cane carved to look like Baba Yaga’s house

Job: They own and operate a tailoring and sewing store called Seams Likeable in Oldtown

Connection to Protagonists: Kennedy’s neighbours

Judy Fauche

Appearance inspired by Lorraine Toussaint

Age: Early 60s

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Very large, red hair, Black

Job: Owns and operates Judy’s Butchery in Oldtown, has a dojo on the third floor above it and runs classes on the weekends, in charge of policing and protection for the Oldtown Council

Connection to Protagonists: Trained Jason in Kung Fu

Michelle and Evanna Swan

Appearance inspired by Michelle Trachtenberg and young Alexa Gerasimovich

Age: Early 30s and 3

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Single mother and daughter, blonde

Job: Unknown

Connection to Protagonists: Kennedy’s neighbours

See Part 3

A Year of Homeschooling in Picture Form

Over the course of the year, we cooked a LOT of food, completed a ream of worksheets, and made a lot of crafts. Here is what all of that looks like all together. (Minus the food…that was eaten and it was delicious.)

It’s both a lot more than I expected, and a lot less. Weird dichotomy.

Introducing Secondary Characters Part 1/3

These are a few of the secondary characters in Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers.

In order of appearance:

Carter Batudev

Appearance inspired by Max Torina

Age: 14

Date of Birth: March 5, 1988

Appearance: Long and gangly, grey eyes

Job: Grade 9 student at Oldtown High School

Connection to Protagonists: Kennedy tutors him in math, son of the bakers at Oven Baked in Oldtown

Vee (Veronica) Giles

Appearance inspired by Olesya Rulin

Age: 25

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Short and pale, with shoulder length chocolate wavy brown hair, large eyes, heart shaped face, and pointy chin; has an air of innocence

Job: Something in engineering

Connection to Protagonists: Jason’s best friend and the Phantom’s ‘Person in the Chair

Claude

Appearance inspired by David Nykl

Age: 66

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Silver hair, attractively wrinkled face, handsome and affluent

Job: Manager of Jason’s restaurant The Hawaiian, treasurer of the Oldtown Council

Connection to Protagonists: Honorary uncle to Jason

Dr Amita Dubois

Appearance inspired by Amita Suman

Age: Unknown

Date of Birth: Unknown

Appearance: Tall, lanky, large eyes

Job: Lead researcher at Westmeath Agricultural Research Cooperative (Westmeath ARC)

Connection to Protagonists: Tutor of Jason’s during high school

See Part 2 and Part 3

Thoughts on a year of homeschool

It has been a year (39 weeks) of teaching my Dragon. It has been rewarding, exhilarating, and exhausting. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the teachers who do this every year with 20+ students.

Things I learned this year:

  • I have no patience when she doesn’t try
  • She knows how to push my buttons
  • I don’t have to do everything by myself
  • I know a least a little bit about a lot of different topics
  • When she tries, she learns really well
  • She has great ideas
  • She really enjoys creating
  • She’s good at math when she focusses
  • I forgot about the crochet portion a LOT
  • I’m incredibly proud of my Dragon

Things my Dragon learned this year:

  • How to print all the letters in small caps (she already knew caps)
  • How to play with playdough
  • The sound of each letter
  • How to count to 100 by 10’s
  • How to count to 100
  • What a pattern is and how to make one
  • A few French words
  • The days of the week
  • The months of the year
  • The seasons of the year
  • How to brainstorm a story, storyboard it, write dialogue, and then put it all together
  • How a stop-motion movie works and created two
  • How to draw from reference
  • How to measure baking ingredients
  • How to measure something with a ruler
  • How to raise her hand and wait for her turn (in virtual school)
  • How to turn on and off camera and microphone in a video conference
  • How to navigate to the chat and click on a link
  • She learned to read music – the 9 notes around middle C
  • The values of whole, half, quarter and eighth notes
  • Can clap and count a line of music using those notes
  • Completed several finger exercises and the value of practicing them
  • How to play chopsticks

Overall, I would call this year of Junior Kindergarten/Maternelle successful, even though the hard part, the learning French part, didn’t go as well as I had hoped.

The important thing was that she had fun, and she tells me that she did. She also wants to make another book and another movie during the summer, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m so very proud of how well my Dragon did this year.

Introducing Protagonists

The two protagonists of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers are Kennedy Fairfield and Jason Johnson.

Kennedy Fairfield

Appearance inspired by Olivia Holt

Age: 22

Date of Birth: July 11, 1980

Appearance: Long blonde hair, green eyes, tall, white

Job: Currently working in sales at Discreet Frills, a boutique lingerie store. Looking for work in her field of Agricultural Science

Parents: Lilah and Gerard Fairfield live on a farm in Parry Sound, Ontario

Siblings: Older brother Phillip, married and has one son (15 months old). Twin older sisters Eliza and MacKenzie. Younger brother Tommy

Jason Johnson

Appearance inspired by a young Jason Momoa

Age: 25

Date of Birth: November 8, 1976

Appearance: Shaggy dark hair, hazel eyes, tall, golden brown skin

Job: Owner and operator of a pizza restaurant The Hawaiian. Head of the Oldtown Council. Aka the Westmeath Phantom, a vigilante with the power to manipulate and control shadows

Parents: Hammond and Monique Johnson, deceased.

Sibling: Younger sister Zoe is married to Gabrielle and they have one daughter Brooke (15 months old)