A young man wakes up on his birthday the Presidential Residence, which he describes as “the last place [he] wanted to be.” Thrown there against his will by a military coup that has made his father president of this Latin American country, he finds his illusions of justice and decency shattered by the reality of corruption and crime at the highest levels, particularly when he receives a birthday gift which leaves him not just surprised, but shocked.In a few moments he must decide whether to accept or reject the gift–a decision which will radically change the course of his life. A powerful, gripping short story.Mike Craig’s writing has been praised by editors of literary magazines and book reviewers:“Mike Craig’s stories pay attention for us, they slow lives down so they’re allowed to breathe and be seen . . . Details emerge where we would not have noticed . . . Although anything is possible within each world Craig creates, it’s all in the way he handles anything that appears unusual with such graceful nonchalance.”–Paul B. Roth, Editor, The Bitter Oleander (Literary Magazine)”Powerful, succinct . . . Hauntingly revealing and diverse in its experiences . . . Recommended reading . . .”–Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book ReviewAlso includes an exclusive interview with the author, who describes his new book, Wild Youth, from which this story was excerpted.
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Mike Craig’s short stories have been published in ten prestigious literary magazines, including Westchester Review, Potomac Review and Descant, and his writing is recommended by the Midwest Book Review.