“Listen, man, can’t we skip this? Can I go through the scanner instead? It’s kind of a matter of life and death.”

The agent dragged me over to a mat with footprint outlines on it, reaching for a fresh pair of blue rubbery gloves. “Pfft. Everybody says that. Put up your arms. Spread your legs. Now, you’re going to feel the back of my hands…”

He started patting me down in front of the whole crowd, beginning with my armpits. He crouched down and explained something garbled about how he was going to handle my junk, then stopped and looked up at my face, narrowing his eyes. “Hey. Don’t I know you?”

Jen Minarik is a fiction writer from Mundelein, Illinois where she works as a user experience design researcher for a technology firm. Her fiction has been awarded residencies at Tin House Summer Writing Workshop and StoryStudio Chicago’s Novel in a Year Workshop. She holds an MS in Communication from Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Lake Forest College, where she received the Senior Prize in Latin American Studies for a novella set during the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots. She is currently working on her first full-length novel.

Jennifer Minarik Fiction Writer


Mundelein, IL