A short story of a 7k words, original published in Return of the Dinosaurs, edited by Mike Resnick and Martin H. Greenberg.
A fossil — a bone — arrives in Peter’s mail. He understands what this means: The father from whom he’s been estranged since childhood has died. He’s never understood why his father deserted his family, and attending to his inheritance is one way of attempting to understand it.
His wife is worried. His mother is very, very worried. Peter himself is not. He knows what his father did to his family, and he has no intention of ever doing the same thing to his own wife and child.
But what he finds is not what he expected, and he is caught — as his father was caught — by the compelling voice of a past he has never experienced until now…