Flash Fiction: Lost in the System

Lost in the System


It wasn’t right.

He had filled in all the forms correctly, he had attended all the interviews on time, and his tone had always been calm and measured. And yet, all he received from them in return, was a Second Class letter to inform him that his papers had been lost in their internal mailing system.

Angry, and in desperate need of a quick settlement to his claim, the young man got on the bus and returned to Block A where he demanded an explanation from a blank-faced advisor, who then sent him to Block B where he argued his case in a loud and forceful manner with another blank-faced advisor.

As ever, nobody listened, no reason was given, and nothing changed but his mood.

Sick of it all, the young man walked out of the grey concrete office block, pulled his hood up, and wandered back to the bus stop in the midday rain. Sitting down next to an old man in the dry of the bus shelter, he rolled a smoke from the last of the butts in his tobacco pouch and stared out blankly at the passing shopping bags and cars.

“Man, this is not right,” the young man snapped, breathing smoke out through his nose, “Seriously, this is all fucking wrong.”

The old man sitting next to him smiled.

“Well,” the old man said slowly, “If you whisper, nobody will hear you, and if you shout, then nobody will listen. All in all, it is far better to just mind your self and watch your breath instead.”


© J H Martin
All Rights Reserved

Lost in the System is taken from a forthcoming collection of short stories and flash fiction by J H Martin, entitled Street Walking.

An earlier and shorter version of Lost in the System appeared in the now-defunct Short, Fast & Deadly journal.



Photography: Exposure


Edge of Humanity Magazine is an online platform that features writing, photography and artwork that deals with all aspects of the human condition, as well as the pressing social issues of our times.

Constantly updated, Edge of Humanity Magazine showcases work by artists, writers and photographers from all over the globe. This week, they give exposure to the photography of J H Martin, which you can view for free here.

Photography: Easter Egg Alley

Easter Egg Alley

Meat For Tea: The Valley Review is an arts and literary journal based in Easthampton, MA, serving both local and international artists and writers.

Its’ latest issue named. ‘Street’ is out now.

Available in both print and digital formats, it features street based art, poetry, prose and photography from writers and artists from all over the globe, including, ‘Easter Egg Alley’; a photograph by J H Martin.

Print copies of the ‘Street’ issue cost $12, digital copies cost $5, and both can be purchased from the Meat for Tea website here.

Art: Machination



Havik is an annual literary anthology assembled and curated by Las Positas College, Livermore, California. 

Their 2018 anthology: Rise, is out now, and features a diverse and vibrant mix of art, creative non-fiction, poetry and fiction from artists all over the world, including Machination; a new piece of visual art, by J H Martin.

To find out where and how you can both find and purchase your copy of Rise, please follow Havik on either Instagram or Facebook.