F Sionil José
Politics and friendship don’t mix. This time it’s Philippine politics. Arcadio Guzman’s best friend, MB Reyes, who had edited his books, introduced him to the seat of power, a “loud mouth” who told truth when it was unpopular with the people in the seat of power.
When the army general suggested that MB must be shut up, Arcadio Guzman gives the OK. And MB was horribly beaten. MB begs Arcadio through bloody missing teeth to tell the people in the seat of power that he will shut up. He has to support his wife and children.
Arcadio hastens to the palace to drink—to deaden his conscience.
Rating: *** of *****.
About the Author: “F. Sionil José, whose fiction is published internationally, received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for journalism, literature and creative communication arts in 1980.”
Short Story International #54. Ed. Sylvia Tankel. February 1986. Pp. 79-94.