The Subscription

By Dean and Amanda Moses

Magazine Stand Bridget Coila.jpg
Photo by Bridget Coila via Flickr. Creative Commons: Some rights reserved.

Gary felt childlike wonder, akin to that of a six-year-old boy awaiting Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. He reflected on this rekindled anticipation, the same tingling buzz that would run along the incline of his spine with the presentation of wrapped gifts, the unmistakable dance that — at this moment — frolicked down his back on tap shoes.

“Here we are.”

The cabbie shut off the meter. The overhead light blinked on, albeit with a delay. Gary thrust a wad of dollars into the driver’s general direction without uttering a word. A hairy hand snatched the cash and disappeared behind the partition. He was certain he had just overpaid, yet he did not give a damn.

Outside he watched the taxi crawl away, the headlights’ amber rays fading from the wet cobblestone. He waited for the car to turn the distant corner before continuing on his way. Pulling his jacket up around his neck, he dashed — taking strides twice as large as he would on other mornings. Gary caught himself panting heavily, not from exhaustion but from expectation.

Borderless International Magazine Stand still had its closed sign draped on the glass door. He knocked loudly, gazing in all directions. The Lower East Side never appeared as dead as it did on Wednesday mornings, something about the middle week’s slog kept people in bed just a few minutes longer than any other day.

A ringing bell announced the opening door.

“Do you have it?” Gary asked in his 40-something smoker’s rasp.

“Just arrived — not 20 minutes ago,” an unseen women responded from somewhere within the shop’s darkness.

Gray rushed inside, locking the door behind him.

“I say it to you every month and I will say it again: I don’t know why you read that Bulgarian, tabloid tripe. You are lucky you pay through the nose, that’s all I can say.”

Gary followed the voice — fluorescent bulbs igniting above — through racks of domestic and international newspapers and magazines. Beautiful women — in the commercial sense — watched him from glossy covers, titanic firearms took aim from overpriced, right wing propaganda manifestos, and magazines promising aspiring writers instant publication encompassed him.

“It’s not trash — it’s art,” Gary replied tardily, sideling up to the counter.

A middle-age woman — gaunt, short hair, exotic — popped up from behind the kiosk. She smirked, exhibiting jagged teeth.

“Whatever you say, my brother,” she said, dropping a magazine on the counter with a dull thump.

Gary leaned into the slightly creased cover. The title — BONED — lay embossed in red font, situated above a photograph depicting a gapping skull with a rose blooming from its left eye socket.

“BONED,” the retailer read aloud mockingly, “now written fully in English. You know why a Bulgarian magazine is English, don’t ya?”

Gary didn’t answer; he was transfixed by the cover image.

“It’s because us Americans are the only ones sick enough to read it. I mean who wants to read about death and skeletons other than us? I don’t even watch the news because it’s so morbid. With war looming and the recent election, as if we didn’t already have enough to — ”

Gary blocked out her voice and flipped the cover. This 200 hundred-page binding remained the single highlight of his month, an addiction without equal. An index outlined the publication’s offerings, all of which Gary intended to read with great care, but where to start? Using his tobacco-tinged ring finger as a pointer, he surveyed the directory, passing his nail over articles such as: Top Ten Sexiest Serial Killers, page 20, Strangest Uses of Human Bones and The Celebs That Use Them, page 34, and The Morbid True Stories Behind Your Favorite Movies, page 47. His finger stopped. NEW NOW: Gruesome Dismemberment Stumps NYPD, page 59, complete with photographs the mainstream media won’t show you. NYC’s murder made it in, he thought.

The newsstand merchant had just just finished her long ramblings when Gary piped up: “Mind if it read this article here? I don’t want my wife knowing I have this subscription; she’s all over the place lately.”

The woman rolled her eyes. “Pay and you can do what you want.”

He placed a 50-dollar bill and two silver coins beside the magazine before flipping to page 59. His heart palpitated: this was it.

Gruesome Dismemberment Stumps NYPD

By Veronica Gadwall

As purveyors of crime drama you have no doubt been following the horrific murder of Alice O’Neil within a humble Park Slope, Brooklyn community, which, even as the investigation continues into its second month, still stumps the NYPD. Stuffy Police Commissioner William Bratton resumes his usual position — resting on his laurels as the O’Neil’s case joins the dusty file cabinet of unsolved murders that stretch into New York City’s lurid history.

While Bratton and his band of nimrod colleagues fumble about searching for clues, BONED has done their job for them, by gathering exclusive information about the murder, and the gruesome photographs of the scene, singularly published here.

Gary ripped his eyes from the page; it was equivalent to tearing skin from hot glue. With a twitching hand he reached for his crotch, a familiar tingling sensation pulsing through his fingertips, and then he remembered where he was — stopping only centimeters away. He eyed the newsagent as she riffled through a shipment of magazines. The intro had already surpassed expectations. He yearned to be alone with it, although his desire to read it as soon as possible won out. He composed himself and returned to the exaggerated font.

We recently sat down with eyewitness, Jonathan Wallaby, to tell us exactly what happened. Consider this a refresher course incase this headline making story is still news to you.

Wallaby, a well-known DJ residing in Park Slope, decided to spend his Thanksgiving morning in the company of his workout friends — a group known as “Daddy and Me” stroller joggers. This hip-hop fanatic has gathered even more renown through his many appearances on the city’s local television news stations. While those monotonous, pseudo news outlets must conform to the opinions of their fat-cat financial backers — providing a skewed outlook on reality — we at BONED can provide you with the real, unabridged truth. That Thanksgiving morning was supposed to be the start of a beautiful day filled with family fun and delicious food, instead it sparked the world’s imagination: who murdered Mrs. O’Neil?

“It still wasn’t fully light out, so when my stroller hit a bump in the pathway, I just thought it was a fallen branch that got caught on my stroller’s wheel. But when I brushed the leaves off — I saw it was a Goddamn hand! The front wheel of my daughter’s stroller was covered in blood, the fingers had snapped like twigs. Three of the fingers were all caught up in the wheel’s spoke,” he told BONED. These imperative, albeit gory details never made it onto the nightly news, so just what is the mainstream media trying to hide?

Well, we already know that thirty-four-year-old O’Neil was not just another murdered woman in the park. No, over the past month we’ve learned that the strange case of this young Emergency Room Nurse gets much darker, for Wallaby merely discovered one of 15 body parts scattered throughout the parkland. Nobody knew the importance of each scattered limb, until now.

Gary almost choked on his own excitement. Saliva dribbled from his lips, narrowly missing the page. Not only had his beloved magazine picked up on this story, they had also put their own theory into play as to why it was committed. A hot, vertigo struck him, the kind of imminence feeling only brought about by such unimaginable pleasure, a gush of ecstasy.

“Are you feeling alright?” the newsagent asked.

Gary ignored the question in favor of returning to his read.

An undisclosed source tells BONED that O’Neil’s feet were propped within the Flatbush Avenue Botanical Garden entranceway, intertwined with hellebore flowers, and her thighs were placed in the sea lion court at the Prospect Zoo. No piece of O’Neil was left untainted. There were various parts of her innards strewn upon lampposts and trees like Christmas ornaments. However, the most horrific display was at the Soldiers and Sailors Arch where thick wire cables elevated O’Neil’s head and torso at the center of the Grand Army Plaza entranceway. In addition, there was a lightweight, titanium rod speared through her mouth and uterus, and out of the vaginal canal with roses covering both obstructions.

Now the facts have become apparent, it begs the question: Why would the murderer put on such a grand display? We at BONED believe that O’Neil’s body was a well thought out Thanksgiving spread — each extremity perfectly ornamented to celebrate the season. Bratton is either too moronic to see this, or he doesn’t want the public to know the killer’s message for fear of mass panic. (For more conspiracy theories, see page 97.) This person wants to be seen. They want recognition for their efforts — for putting together such a grim display.

Gary’s grip on the page tightened.

One of Brooklyn’s most popular landmarks, Prospect Park symbolized the dining table. Each body part was placed at the focal point of the park’s tourist havens — the Botanical Garden, the zoo and the Grand Army Plaza. Upon examining the crime photos, BONED believes that O’Neil’s feet were adorned with hellebore flowers because they symbolizes the poisonous spoils of Thanksgiving. Hellebore, which translates in Greek as “injure food,” is a highly poisonous yet decoratively festive plant.

The sea lion court at the zoo, another popular tourist attraction, represents the performance stage. Her thighs were spread apart in an erotic fashion, making us believe that the murderer detested O’Neil and wanted to make a mockery of her for all to see and be entertained by.

The main attraction takes place at the park’s most revered location — especially since one of the most successful Farmers Markets takes place there. If Bratton had any imagination he would understand that the titanium, a strong, lustrous and silver metal signifies the city’s foundation on overpriced, gentrified communities such as Prospect Park — a foundation that cut’s through poor and middle class New Yorkers’ pockets like fashionable silverware.

Poor O’Neil met an end so macabre and unthinkable, a murder hasn’t shaken a city with such comparable vigor since Jack The Ripper decided to venture into London’s White Chapel. Of course, Bratton held an impromptu press conference just outside of the Grand Army Plaza’s entranceway on Thanksgiving night in an attempt to breathe confidence into the residents of NYC. However, his reassurance fell flat — just like his empty promises to provide safer city streets. The conference concluded with Bratton stating: “This was not just any murder, O’Neil’s death was a message, but we do not to know to whom or why this message was sent.”

Obviously, O’Neil’s body is a murder message — it’s a statement to everyone that our lives are in the hands of unqualified, unreliable idiots. Their involvement in O’Neil’s case was purely to save face since this heinous crime occurred on such a financially prosperous day. They wouldn’t want tourists and commercial businesses to be affected by a crazy serial killer, now would they?

BONED has reported on grotesque, cruel and downright evil murders for 22 years, but O’Neil’s case is one of the most puzzling and grisly, a bloody crowning jewel. With no hope in the protective powers in NYC, who will catch the Park Slope Killer? Will the killer strike again or was this murder a love note carved purely for the Thanksgiving holiday? As always, BONED will keep our readers up-to-date with the latest on this grisly murder that has taken over a small urban paradise for New Yorkers by bringing you the info the rest of the news world doesn’t want you to know.

Follow us on Twitter and check for O’Neil updates.

Gary disregarded the publication’s long-winded theories save one, the notion that the murder was a message — or more of a fan letter.

“A bloody crowning jewel,” Gary read, almost gnawing on the words as they left his mouth.

“How’s that?” the newsagent asked.

“I have been a fan of BONED for years now and this is the first time they’ve ran a New York based murder piece… a piece about a death that happened right in my own neighborhood. It was well worth the wait.”

The woman regarded Gary with a bemused expression. “You like some sick shit, Mr. O’Neil, no wonder Mrs. O’Neil won’t let you have it mailed to your house.”

Gary rolled up the magazine and placed it under his arm.

“I don’t think my wife will mind about this issue, it talks about our borough — right in our backyard. She prefers stories she can relate to.”

Dean Moses is the author of A Stalled Ox. He has a host of short stories available to read, and has written for numerous newspapers, including the New York Amsterdam News and the Spring Creek Sun, as well as transcribed for the New York Times’ Lens Blog. He is also a video game journalist, contributing to various online outlets, such as Hey Poor Player and MMO Examiner. Dean currently resides in Queens with his wife and four cats.

Amanda Moses is the Copy Editor for the Spring Creek Sun, a freelance reporter, and multimedia journalist. She almost went to law school but decided being a starving journalist was more fun. She has a degree in Justice Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has received several scholarships, fellowships and awards for her research and studies on social justice, but none compare to her achievements on the Xbox. She lives in Woodside, Queens with her handsome English husband and four cats.


One thought on “The Subscription

  1. well I must say it was very interesting , I usually don’t read anything that is morbid lol actually I don’t watch news on the telly either, its so full of bad news, it depresses me but you two have a fantastic imagination and wish you many success in whatever you write, good luck to you both xox Ralfie


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