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From the Eyes of Frances MacDonald
By Christine Stoddard
That flamboyant hussy—she with her rustic sense of geometry and her obsession for gaudy Celtic figures. I loathe her rectangles and I loathe her roses. I loathe her pretentious banter and her self-conscious bohemian ensembles. I loathe the way she sips tea, the way she sucks the air through her teeth before she smiles, and even the way she threads needles. Above all, I loathe her. From the hairs on the crown of her head to the curl of her fake genie slippers, I loathe every element of her being—physical and spiritual.
No matter how many accolades I won in school, all our social circles agreed Margaret's talent surpassed mine. Even as Glasgow breathes and grows with the might of an ever-changing beast, their opinion remains the same. They all take her for my superior. What a misfortune that she and I are related by blood! Now I must suffer the fact that she and I are also related by art, a more sacred union.
As creative sisters, Margaret and I have always collaborated, but I had the choice to refuse involvement in her projects before. Today marks a turn in my autonomy. For today, we begin our lives as official business partners and studio co-owners. Following her lead is a matter of my survival. I must accept that Herbert may never propose, and prepare myself accordingly.
If I am lucky, sharing a studio with Margaret will be barely tolerable. She claims everything for her own and seeks competition in every moment. I cannot even initial a pencil without her challenging me to a drawing duel. No wonder that Charlie Mackintosh has not yet proposed. Who would marry such a domineering shrew? It is one thing to stifle another woman, but Margaret dares to stifle a man. It shocks me that she has not yet ripped out his gaying instrument and added it to her precious collection of paintbrushes. She is probably waiting until they are betrothed. Then, even if she renders him useless, at least she can say a man loved her enough to ask for her hand in marriage. That is the one thing she in all her vanity has yet to claim.
Realistically, I cannot wait for luck to whisper in my ear. I must conquer Margaret before she conquers me. I poured some arsenic into her drinking cup today. Perhaps I will finally be rid of that simpering swine! The studio and all her clients will be mine. I might even have a chance at Mr. Mackintosh's heart. Of course, she, like a tick, can go without nourishment or even mere hydration for days. By the time she picks up her cup, one of our maids might have already emptied and refilled it. I shall have to wait upon my web in the corner, all eight eyes focused for the downfall of the tick.
Christine Stoddard is the founder and editor of Quail Bell Magazine. She currently lives in her native Virginia, but will be moving to Guadalajara, Mexico in February 2012.