The short story “Bone Deep” by Martin Malone begins with Ian, the 13-year-old narrator, mentioning the discovery of a woman’s skeleton inside a well.
Ian’s family sits down for dinner on Sunday evening. The mother is at bingo, so the father makes sandwiches for the children. Ian mentions that the father is a little drunk and that they do not like his sandwiches. He also talks about his siblings: Elly (who is 18 and living with her husband), Ann, and Terry.
Ann takes care of Terry, who has been paralyzed since a car accident. Terry’s twin, Marcus, was killed in the same accident. Ann still blames their father, who was driving at the time and fell asleep at the wheel. Ian, the father, and Ann discuss the skeleton; how she might have died, and what she looked like. Ann tries to pick a fight with her father, linking their discussion to the accident.
Ian blames their father, too but tries to prevent the argument. Although unable to speak, Terry signals by body language that he takes his father’s side. Ann and Ian leave the room abruptly. Ian admits they are ashamed because they are not able to forgive their father, like Terry has. After they leave, Terry settles down, and Ian realizes his father and Terry are very close....