A young boy who dreams of emigrating to the U.S. to study at MIT comes across a pair of Soviet officers during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and learns there’s far more at stake than he’d ever dreamed in Tonya D. Price’s “Spy in the Sky.”
“Spy in the Sky” appears in The Golden Door, a collection of stories showing the impact on people when they’re treated as “the other,” whether they’re immigrants to a country, a group of targeted within their own country, or something else besides. The title refers to Emma Lazarus’s welcoming words inscribed on the plaque on Statue of Liberty, “I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Tales of mistreatment of “the other” abound in historical or religious writings from around the world and through all time. But there are also plenty of examples of people helping each other, caring for one another, learning about each other. Sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small—but they all add up.
Find The Golden Door
Father Pedro rolled the dial with two fingers. Then he reached back in his robe again. This time he pulled out a small box no more than an inch by two inches. He looked around.
Roberto followed Father Pedro’s lead. There was no one in sight.
“Hold out your hand by your side. Palm up.”
Roberto obeyed and Father Pedro, holding his hand upside down, dropped the small carton in Roberto’s palm. “Film. Five rolls. Do not let anyone know where you got this. Lives are at stake, Roberto. Do you understand?”
“If you are caught, you will be charged as a spy. They will torture you to find out who you were working with.”
“I’m a boy. I went out of curiosity.”
“I don’t think so.”
Roberto thought for a moment. “I work for the Americans as did my father.”
Father Pedro hung his head down as if in prayer. “They will believe you. And they will kill you for it.”
“Then,” Roberto tried to look brave as he imagined his father had been. “I will not get caught.”
—from “Spy in the Sky” in The Golden Door by Tonya D. Price
Tonya is a fiction and non-fiction writer who has published short stories across a variety of genres. She has an MBA from Cornell University and draws on her extensive high tech executive positions in writing her Business Books For Writers series. Her Fiction River story, “Payback” was included in The Best American Mystery Stories of 2019. She is currently finishing her fifth non-fiction book Managing the Writer’s Money to be released in the spring of 2020.