14 August, 2010
"The Linkage of Bone" by Devin Murphy is about 15 pages long and written in 3rd person POV, very close; it feels like a first-person POV story. The details of a person recovering from a near-death experience and the efforts required to heal are written very well and wonderfully so. Terrance suffered electrocution but survived. His wife, Helen, is mentally fragile and when she realizes that his injuries will not allow them to have children, she suffers yet again. Their house is secluded and all they have is, "..."a trust that they'd be there for each other, and she had draped that trust over herself like a plaster cast until it was holding her up." Terrance sculpts imaginary and fanciful creatures out of the bones of many different animals in much the same way that he wishes he could "rebuild" Helen. The story weaves through Terrance's recovery, Helen trying to hold herself together and the influences of Terrance's deceased grandfather. Some of the segues are abrupt and there's an entire paragraph about the grandfather reading the bible to Terrance and Jesus walking on water that I think is superfluous. Many of the descriptions are some of the most interesting I've read. For example: "epileptic fish flopping above the road." and "When she dropped the coffee, Terrance wanted to touch her face the way a blind person would, with hungry fingers trying to find something." "When he got home, Helen was under the covers on the couch with the salve cream cupped in her hands like a tiny bowling ball." The story is chocked full of these wonderful descriptions. Published in the summer 2010 issue of The Missouri Review.