Flash Fiction: Two Quick Shots

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You may remember, way back in early July, I put forth a challenge to anyone that wanted to participate: Write a piece of flash fiction with this image as the story starter.

The deadline was to be August 1, but I’m a pushover editor. I gave more time. Then had other things going on. Then went on vacation and was off-line (for the most part).

But now, finally, we have two entries! Two writers РBill Baber and Ryan Sayles  Рthrew their writing hats into the ring, and delivered some short, hard-hitting pieces of fiction to accompany this photo.

Here, without further adieu, are the two stories, in PDF form:

Two quick shots, like those from a Saturday Night Special or a Conor McGregor jab, make up the fiction here.

Two pieces, four characters.

And guns. Everybody’s got guns.

Not a lot of words but a lot of meat on these bones.

Here’s where I need your help, dear reader. As I mentioned, the contest is…whomever’s story gets the most votes, will win one of my images as a signed, 16×20 print.

And I’ll also work to get the winning story published online someplace.

That’s great for the winner, right? But what’s in it for me, you’re saying. I know you are.

Well, make your selection in the comments below. Try to leave something more than “I pick Sayles, he’s got cool side burns!” or “It’s Baber! He lives in Tuscon! I’ve been to Tuscon!”

You don’t have to go all Kirkus Reviews on me, but leave me a little something.

At the end of the judging (see below), I’ll put all the names of those that left a comment in my Stone Pony baseball cap and pull out a name. That person will win a signed print of your choice from me as well.

Judging is open until the summer ends, that is, 12 midnight on Labor Day night, September 5.

Your 2016 summer reading, then, will officially be over. Mine is almost there.

So, get reading. And reviewing.

And don’t pull any punches.

Bill and Ryan didn’t.

(c) Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016


Spirits In The Summer Night

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“You’ve got to take your satisfactions where you can get them.” ~ Bruce Springsteen, during the intro to Independence Day at MetLife Stadium, 8.23.16.

Anytime you can see Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band in the Great State of New Jersey…especially in the summer…you go.

Even if it’s in a football stadium with 53,000 other people.

There is just something about seeing Bruce and the band play a hometown show. I know there are people all of the world who have “See Springsteen in NJ” on their bucket list. It’s easy to take it for granted when you see him in the Garden State.

But it is special.

And magical.

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I went with the intent to see the show, of course, but also to document the scene, the pre-show parking lot. “Parking Lot Portraits” I called it, akin to the boardwalk photos I took last summer.

I didn’t have The River album with me, but no matter. I was still able to meet some very interesting people and see some interesting scenes.





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This is Dave, owner of Asbury Park Fight Club clothing. Check out their website for nifty items.

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(Ran into my buddy Zack Sandler with Kyle Brendle and Steve Weiss of The Stone Pony)

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Probably my favorite portrait of the evening. I missed their names, but this father and teenage daughter were on rushing to get in. I was walking back to my truck to put my cameras away before heading in myself, but had to ask them for this shot. They seemed so excited, both in their River t-shirts. The generations – the couple at the opening of this post that have been seeing Bruce since the early ’70s they told me, to these two, happy to see him now.

A few more quick thoughts on the show last night:

* Such a beautiful late summer night. It was 55 degrees when I woke up Tuesday morning, and thought it might actually get chilly for the evening show. It didn’t. It was about 85 at show time and it was just a beautiful, clear night.

* Nothing is more special than seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in New Jersey. Even if it’s with 53,000 other people.

* Standing on the floor of MetLife Stadium, and looking up at the Ring Of Honor for the NY Jets and NY Giants is pretty cool, too, and I’m not even a fan of those teams.

* Santa Claus Is Coming To Town….in August. Why not.

* Nils made me dizzy during his Because The Night solo.

* Darlington County, not really a favorite of mine, rocked. As did The Promised Land, which has always been a favorite.

* Jungleland, special as always.

* She’s The One, yes.

* Jersey Girl. in New Jersey. Double Yes.

* Jack of All Trades – tour debut. Nice.

* Wished they had done Backstreets.

* Very fun to see some old friends, and meet some new ones too.

* Unfortunate: Saw many more drunk people here than at the Guns ‘N Roses show in July. Kinda made me fear getting out of the parking lot. But it was ok.

* Also, too many people on their phones, scrolling scrolling scrolling, taking pictures, or otherwise engaged in conversations. Why pay all that money if you’re not going to pay attention to the goshdarn show??

Overall, a very fun night. I enjoyed meeting some people and just walking around the floor, watching different people and how they reacted to songs.

Spirits in the summer night, everyone. All coming together in North Jersey for one thing…


As I walked out, though, I felt Summer 2016 shutting down.

And that made me a little sad.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016

Ridin’ Down In The Hollow

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Been on vacation the last week, in Watagua County, North Carolina.

This vacation has turned epic for a number of reasons, some good, some unfortunate. I may get into it over time.

Saturday, though, had to take a drive down to Charlotte, about two hours, give or take, away from Boone, NC.

On that drive I spent about 50-odd miles on Route 421 South, passing into Wilkesboro for a long stretch. The sky was brilliant, the hills rising and falling out my windows, big fluffy clouds overhead. A steady mix of Springsteen, Tom Petty and Sturgill Simpson rode with me up front while the kids Minecrafted in the back.

It dawned on me at some point that I was in pretty famous country, if you’re into that sort of thing. I remembered an Esquire piece I read by Tom Wolfe on and about Junior Johnson called The Last American Hero (look it up, it’s a great piece of writing).

Junior came from a long line of bootleggers, and he ran a lot of ‘shine himself along the dark country North Carolina roads.Then, he started running in stock car races in North Wilksboro and became went on to become arguably the biggest star of stock-car racing.

I’m not into that sport, but that piece by Tom Wolfe impressed me enough for me to remember where I was today. And, sure enough, just after I passed a hot rod Chevy Caprice parked on a patch of grass, I came upon a large green state sign proclaiming this part of Route 421 “Junior Johnson Highway.”

Thunder Road indeed!

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016


Friday Noir: The In-Betweens

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Dark corners, whispered plans.

Shaking hands with shaking hands.

The impossible planners with decrepit dreams.

In secret lamplight hideouts.

Trying not to let the world break you,

yet that’s all it does.

Day by day. Night by night.

The scratch of the eight ball, the rye that burns the throat.

Out into the  night,

Not giving a damn about those in-betweens.

Lightening splits the warm night sky.

I have blood in my eye.

We are our father’s sons.

(c)Mark Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | 2016




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