Yes, the word "present" is ok.
Retelling a story, it's better to use present tense because it makes it (the story) more realistic. Even if the story happens in the past, it's better to use present. For example, while retelling Animal Farm by George Orwell:
It was about a farm on which some animals lived .... and it symbolized the Soviet Union ... (NOT NATURAL)
Much better to say:
It is about a farm on which some animals live .... and it symbolizes the Soviet Union ...