Weekly Rumpus Fiction: Ursula Villarreal-Moura


The next Weekly Rumpus features fiction from Ursula Villarreal-Moura. Here’s an excerpt:

Within a month of knowing her, Irina had turned me on to shoplifting. I was hooked on the thrill of procuring ordinary and exquisite items. From grocery stores, we lifted packages of string cheese, sprinkled donuts, lipsticks, index cards, disposable cameras, and collars for cats we didn’t own. From boutiques in town, we pocketed perfumes, velvet headbands, French milled soaps, vintage brooches, and pewter key chains engraved with Japanese characters.

In the privacy of my dorm—because I didn’t have roommates and Irina had three—we decorated our bodies in our stolen loot and flashed pictures of ourselves with the disposable cameras. We clipped the kitten collars around our ankles, struck slapstick poses with bitten donuts, and collapsed in giggling fits onto my floor. With Irina, I was reckless, the most uninhibited version of myself. Still, even at nineteen, I understood I would mature into a high-functioning adult. I would never have problems with the law. I would not fall apart. This was my rebellion, much abbreviated and heavily photographed.

Ursula Villarreal-Moura’s writing has appeared in CutBank, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Doctor T.J Eckleburg Review, NAP, Lunch Ticket, DOGZPLOT, and elsewhere. She tweets at @Ursulaothebook.

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