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The place and procedures are familiar. Empty your pockets. Take off your shoes. Place carry-ons in a bin or directly on the conveyor. But if you’re a screener, those are just first steps. So much to observe and no easy way to distinguish innocent from guilty. That wide-eyed stare. Just another odd expression or a show of fear? Repetitive yawning. The price for a late night or nerves over what’s coming? That young man’s pale face. Recently shaved beard or just pale? A woman’s outsized eyeglass frames. Storage for microelectronics or a fashion statement? How do you gain or lose trust? How can you trust others if you can’t trust yourself? Trust Me Now explores those questions.

The security officers directing passengers wear the same uniforms but beyond that similarity, they come to their positions via distinctive pasts which pushed them to jobs where trusting is the integral challenge. Cal, betrayed by his ex-wife and manipulated by his sister, believes no one is entitled to be trusted, not even passengers claiming disability for early boarding privilege. Brick, carrying the residuals of two childhood betrayals, will do almost anything to fit in. Walter, too young to be in charge of his little brother when their mother abandoned them, worries that if his best wasn’t good enough then, it won’t be good enough now. Wally misses almost every social cue but not passengers’ attempts to board with camouflaged contraband. Keeping planeloads of passengers safe is Lydia’s chance to walk away from her guilt at failing to save her depressed father.

Despite their flaws, these five are charged with keeping travelers safe, relied upon to do their jobs when failure can be catastrophic.  To succeed they must resolve past failures and learn to trust themselves and each other.


A stand-alone chapter, “Messy Business,” was a short story finalist in the Dana Awards and short-listed for the finalist list in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition. 


A longer excerpt was a finalist in the novella category of the Faulkner-Wisdom competition.

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