This short story in brief concerns the feelings of a couple whose son is tragically hit by a car on his eighth birthday and who is in a coma as a result. What makes this event even more terrible is that the couple are subject to anonymous calls that come from the baker that had been commissioned by the couple to bake a birthday cake for their son. "The Bath" focuses on the insidious and perverse way in which these calls intrude on the couple's grief and sadness as they struggle to cope with what has happened to their son. The phone call is shown to be some kind of evil influence that enters their lives. The parents never discover who has been calling, and the death of their son ends the story abruptly.
Although Carver actually rewrote this original story and called it "A Small, Good Thing," changing it from its rather sinister beginnings, "The Bath" is an excellent example of Carver's terse and concise style which says so little but actually reveals so much.