Undetermined Origin

The doorknob was clacking in the jamb, clumsy and unfamiliar. The lock turned over, clinking, and a boy stumbled into the room. He balanced a swaying wedding-cake tower of boxes, then thunked them to the ground. He had a key. He was moving in.

I watched him arrange his things on the shelves. Someone plugged in a radio, and tinny cacophony filled the house.

I couldn’t let him stay.

Small things at first—I faced pictures backward, turned off the television. Had hackles-raised standoffs with the dog and creaked the closet door open at night.

I didn’t mean to start the fire.


Erin Marissa Russell is a 26-year-old who studies art and writing in Dallas, Texas. She is the founder and co-editor of Moulin Review, a literary journal staffed by students at Brookhaven College. Her short story "That's What It's All About" won first place in the National League for Innovation in the Community College Contest. In addition to writing and making art, Erin enjoys singing with local music projects Zzz... and Lewis Family Singers.

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