The short story ‘Bone Deep’ by Martin Malone (2018) is a about a family, who has troubles.
Through the main character Ian, the difficulties in the family is told, and after a car accident, they have lost their brother, Marcus, and their other brother, Terry, is injured badly, where they blame the father, especially the sister Ann does.
Now, the family barely talks to each other, the mother is not home, and the siblings are taking care of their paralyzed brother, but a woman’s skeleton founded in a well leads to a conversation about their own theories, and in the end of the story, Ann and Ian leave the room because of the shame of not forgiving their father – as Terry has, while Terry and his father have a very close bond.
The relationship between Terry and the father is symbolized with a bone: “There’s not so much as a peep from my brother. Sometimes we forgot how close they are. Bone Deep” (p. 3, ll. 127-128).
Here, an explanation of the title is also given. A bone is very strong, and if it breaks, it will heal and become even thicker and stronger, and the same thing can be said about their relationship, which is very deep – like a bone.
Terry is the only one, who has forgiven their father, and that could be the reason why Terry only wears white T-shits: “Terry has to wear a white-coloured shirt; he will not wear a shirt of any other colour.
We don’t know why this is so” (p. 1, ll. 38-39). The white color is a symbol of kindness and innocence; even though the accident paralyzed him, he has a big heart and has forgiven the father, who is the cause of his situation.
That is also why, Ian and Ann are ashamed of not forgiving their father, when Terry has, but that is just showing, how strong and deep the bond between Terry and the father is, the family bond is the ties of blood. How Terry is actually feeling is difficult to conclude, since the characters are described through a first-person narrator.