All These Are My Tears is the fourth volume of three-minute stories in the Canvas Sextet, the compelling collection of contemporary flash fiction by Miles White. These new stories take on even darker themes and tales of human tragedy told with a sense of urgency that makes reading them deeply hypnotic.
A cheating husband gets an unexpected comeuppance in “Navigation.” A suicidal man must confront his own darkness in “The Other Side of the World.” Race and religion collide violently in “All God’s Chillun’.” Life and death trade places in “A Train Bound for Glory.” Like Jesus Loves You But Not Today, Download the Moon, and Zen Pussy Riot, these are stories that will surprise, entertain, and amaze. This book is a dazzling display of short form fiction writing.
Turn right 100 yards. She was finally going to catch his ass red handed. At the stop sign she made a right turn. Proceed straight. She hoped he didn’t notice the distinctive headlamps of her BMW trailing him, but she didn’t have to stay all that close. The phone tracker app she had downloaded onto her iPhone had honed in on his iPhone and was sending his route to her indash navigation screen. He was zigzagging her. She suspected that he suspected she was onto him and was taking evasive maneuvers. She had been onto him for some time now but could never catch him in a lie. Now she had GPS technology on her side. Turn left now and proceed straight.
Abbey watched the navigation screen as the app tracked Bruce’s Bentley racing her around the city, but he’d already had her going in circles for more than a year now. The usual techniques did not work with Bruce. He regularly erased emails on his computer and deleted his text messages. He emptied his pockets before he came home and she never sniffed the scent of another woman on him, which is what tipped her off. He smelled like lavender body wash, even when he came home at night after a late day at the office. She checked with some of the guys who went to the same fitness club as Bruce. They had body wash in the shower but it was peach, not lavender. Make a U-Turn here and an immediate sharp right, then proceed straight.
Bruce was no slouch himself. He had hacked into Abbey’s iPhone and knew about the mobile app she had downloaded, so he had downloaded a tracing alert app that detected when she was tracking him. He watched Abbey following him on his indash navigation screen and kept running her. Bruce could not afford to be caught. Abbey would get custody of the kids and half of everything he owned in a divorce, more than that if she could prove he had been cheating. Despite the temperature control system keeping his Bentley pleasantly cool he was beginning to sweat. God, look at you!, yelled Josie, who was married to Bruce’s boss and who was way past hysterical after he explained to her what was happening. Lose her! I don’t want to be busted in a fucking episode of Cheaters or Cops or some shit, and I’m not fighting Abbey! She works out!
Just shut up. I got this, Bruce said, bluffing. He drove Abbey around the lake then cut back into the city and through a shopping mall. She stayed on him, never more than a mile behind. He didn’t expect to lose her – how do you outrun satellite technology? – but he was hoping she would quit out of frustration or run out of gas. After an hour he realized she had a full tank of gas and was fueled by a driving determination to finally nail his sorry ass. Stop the car! Let me out! Josie screamed. Bruce pleaded. I told you. I got this. Josie unbuckled her seatbelt. You’ve been saying that for the last hour! Look, I’m not getting caught in the middle of this! Stop the fucking car! Bruce refused to stop the car. Josie let down the passenger side window.
Before he knew it she had grabbed his iPhone off the seat and flung it out the window. What the hell are you doing?, he screamed. My whole life is in there! He slammed on the brakes and jumped out, following the metallic clicking sound of his iPhone rolling down the pavement. Josie quickly slid behind the wheel and drove off in Bruce’s Bentley. Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!, he screamed, running after her then stopping, remembering his phone. He fumbled around in the dark and finally felt the iPhone lying in the middle of the highway. Thank God, he mumbled bitterly. Just as he picked up the phone the distinctive headlights of a BMW swerved around the corner, freezing him. Abbey hit him going 80 miles an hour without braking. The last thing he saw was Abbey’s face as she tracked him on the navigation screen, flying through the air, never losing his grasp on the iPhone even when he hit the pavement 125 yards down the road.