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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Poetry and Fiction by MARY MILLS


The Croc Atop the Tele

Scattered shards
on the floor
like rubble
after a bomb
scored a hit.

To the left
on the wall
an axe hangs

To the right
of three swords
curved in sheaths
angry teeth
announce him.

From his head
a haunting smile
seethes with guile.
the croc is set
to strike
from atop
the tele.









ingrown toenail

screaming infection
      bloody mess-

       for ten days.

      I need
       some weed!



Spanish moss

creeping, seeping
clinging, swinging
crawling, sprawling

from the top
down to the
bottom branch.

scary mist:
soft, airy
Spanish moss.



snowfelt gratitude

from the safety
of a warm house,
I have a ringside seat
and can watch the
greatest show on
my side of earth.

without interruption
without commercials
my free ticket to
uninterrupted beauty
fascinating, amazing.

I am grateful for this
reminder of
human limitation.




Voices of
Soothing silence
Close your eyes
Open your ears

Can you hear them?
Soft shades
Of sound



Rough Ride

Jenny Wilkinson called to her daughter, Rose, who was in the backyard looking at a magazine. “Rose, watch Al while I go shopping. I won’t be but an hour.”

“No need to hurry, Mom. I’ll take good care of Al.”

Jenny Wilkinson left her son with Rose, his thirteen-year-old half-sister, and planned to be home before Luke, her husband. While Jenny prepared dinner, Luke would amuse their three-year-old son. Neither Luke nor Al tired of this routine because it was not a routine, but a joyful interaction.

Al loved his wagon and squealed with delight as his sister labored to pull the large, unwieldy wagon with him inside up a steep incline. As she struggled to keep her footing while dragging the burden, perspiration rolled down her forehead. Her determination to be rid of the noisy creature in the wagon was fueled by the vibration of little legs and feet, banging on the floor of the wagon. He was about to get the ride of his life.

At the top of the hill, Rose gave the old wagon a heave, sending it into a momentum, which increased as the wagon approached the big maple at the bottom. In what seemed an instant, the wagon struck the maple’s extensive feeder roots and flipped onto its side. A neighbor noticed the runaway wagon with its tiny passenger and hopped the fence just as the wagon careened into the tree, emptying Al onto the ground. The feeder roots deflected the wagon and prevented it from colliding with the tree trunk. Tragedy had been averted, and the toddler was alive. His injuries, with the exception of his jaw, were superficial, and his neighbor was able to reposition the dislocated jaw.

After the bouts of heated arguments concerning Al’s accident had subsided, a stifling silence seemed to bounce off the walls as Jenny and Luke exchanged civilities. Luke demanded that Rose never be alone with his son and made it clear that he would take certain measures to ensure Al’s safety. An uneasy peace filled the house like an angry, caged animal, pacing back and forth, ready to let loose its pent up rage.

“Now what?” Luke asked, looking past Jenny to Rose, whose strawberry blond hair would’ve turned blood red from his yanking it out if he hadn’t controlled himself.

“What?” asked Jenny trembling.

“Now, what will happen next? Will Al live to be four?” Luke sighed and bolted toward Al’s room. An ungodly frustration devoured him. How could he protect the boy? As he left a sleeping Al, Luke’s rage had reached its boiling point.

” It was an accident,” Rose countered in her defense, retreating into the kitchen. The screen door slammed as she lunged for the backyard. Luke did not follow her. The time for discussion was past. Silence dominated dinner and bedtime.

Jenny’s eyes opened. She had heard a muffled child’s voice. She glanced at the clock. Whatever the noise was, it wasn’t worth bothering about. She closed her eyes and drifted off. It was early, and she needed her sleep. The figure beside her hadn’t moved. Then, after a few minutes, she awoke.

” It’s 7:00. You’re going to be late for work, Luke!”

Tugging at the sheets, she discovered pillows bunched together. A stifled cry of helplessness stuck in her throat. Luke was gone!

From the hallway, Rose’s voice quivered, “Al is gone! Kidnapped!” Rose saw her mother, sitting by the pillows, motionless. Upset by her mother’s stare, Rose embraced her in an attempt to comfort and distract her. The intruders were gone.


In the Kitchen with JENNY MAY PETERSON



Produced by Walter Conley and Paul Dutra.



Mary Mills is a retired world language teacher, whose specialty is German. Her translation of poems written by concentration camp inmates, “Voices of Theresienstadt,” appeared in the Nov., 2009 issue of Pacific Coast Philology. These poems can be viewed at Her own poetry has appeared in Autumn Leaves, Rattlesnake Review, Inscribed, and, most recently, in disenthralled.

Jenny Peterson is a west-coast photographer with mid-western sensitivities spilling over her lens. Her imaginative photographs ferment a fantastical realism, as she challenges the physical laws of the ordinary day. In her spare time she is also a professional dancer and massage therapist. Visit Jenny’s gallery at flickr: onlymefairmay.


Coming next is the Theater Special, edited by Quin Browne.

Submissions are CLOSED at the present time, but check the guidelines in April. You can reach Walter Conley at or find him on twitter as pitchbrite.

Please note that we are now located at

All material copyright©2010 by respective creators.


(Photo by Steve Pacuk)

Please note that disenthralled can now be found at

ISSUE #6 is online. Flash and poetry by Bruce Brown, Petra Whiteley, Janeen Chabot, offbeatjim, Robert Crisman, Quin Browne, Michael J. Solender, Mary Mills, Paul D. Brazill. Photography by Jenny May Peterson, Paul Dutra, Sarah R. Bloom, Steve Pacuk, Meredith Kleiber and Gwyn Michael.

Special thanks once again to Paul Dutra for technical assistance.

And thanks to Quin Browne for stepping in and stepping up.

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Submissions are CLOSED at the present time, while we finish the current projects and reorganize for spring. Next are the MARY MILLS and THEATER specials.

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I can be reached at or If you’ve never contacted me, please let me know what it’s about in the subject or it will be deleted unread.

Walter Conley
Louisa VA

Night at the Western


Quick update and links you should check out:

Update for March 5, 2010

Things have been quiet lately, as I catch up on my own writing and discuss the future of disenthralled with friends much smarter than I am. Three Specials are currently being assembled: Theater, Noir and Mary Mills. None is far from completion. I’ve loosened up the schedule to allow for new ideas, additional material to be gathered at the behest of the other editors; but you can expect one of those issues around March 15. And regular issues/submission opportunities will resume after the Specials have been finished.

Recommended links

One of my favorite short story writers, Ray Nayler, has a webcomic up at Zuda Comics entitled NIGHT AT THE WESTERN. Cesar Sebastian handled the artwork. We need more noir webcomics online. Head over, read it, vote. The winning comic will become a regular series.


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My friend Nicole Hirschi has a blog called CJT’S WORD VAMP. Lately she’s been posting flash fiction by writers familiar to readers of disenthralled, such as Salvatore Buttaci, Michael J. Solender, Richard Godwin. Here’s a link to the current story by Jeffrey S. Callico, whose poetry appeared in Issue #2:


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Screenwriter/reader Xandy Sussan has a blog called COVER MY SCRIPT where she doles out great advice not only on the film industry, but on writing itself. No nonsense. Gained through experience. Always straight-forward, entertaining and right on the money:


And be sure to check out the links to Contributors and other sites of interest at the bottom of the page.

If you need to reach me, Let me know what it’s about in the subject line or the message will be deleted unread. In realer-time, there’s a chance you might find me at twitter, user name pitchbrite.