A Projection On Paper story by Zachary Storch

My father taught me the way of the blade. He said the most important thing to remember was why he taught me.
“I teach you so you learn when to use it,” he said.
I took that to heart, but never to mind. We started with wooden sticks that we threw into the air. He showed me how he cut them such that they would split into eight pieces before landing onto the ground. I cut them once only.

The next day we went out to the river, and my father placed his blade into the stream and showed me how his blade cut the water and anything that touched the edge of his weapon. I asked him why he did this, and he said it was to show the danger. That made me confused when we were slashing at flying sticks again the next day. I cut one twice.

Later we moved on to hunting. There were wolves outside of town, and we exterminated them. I asked him what the wolves had done. He told me that they had pillaged chickens and grain. I took that as moral and a reason to use a sword. A thief. Thieves could face a sword.

Then it was sticks again. I cut one four times, but it was only a fluke. The next I could only cut three. Father cut them all eight.

We sparred, too. A dangerous thing for certain when our blades were live, but we did it. He scraped my arm and it bled badly. We stopped then. I cut him back when he lowered his blade. I expected him to be angry, but he applauded me. No mercy. Merciful people could face a blade.

I grew older, and my skill had improved. I cut the sticks six times now. Father had gotten older too. He only cut them five now. He still taught me, only now I knew I was the stronger. I would always learn from him, even now that he is gone.

Bandits came by town. I decided to find them. Father came with me. I cut all I found down. Then we came upon a woman. She held her hands up and cried for me to stop. Father urged me the same, claimed she was innocent, that she was just one of their wives. She had a small dagger on her belt. Were she innocent, she would have struck her husband down. I turned my blade upon my father. I cut him down, then swung back at the woman and she fell with him.

I returned home as a hero. I would still learn from my father in his death. I would never do as he had done.

Life Capture

A triple Life Capture video photography update today. I was taking a very long walk today, as I often do on the weekends, and ended up by the Mississippi river. Minnesota is where the Mississippi begins. Another thing Minnesota is known for is milling. This first one is a part of the ruins of the old Gold Medal Flour mill (You know… General Mills.) What I did not get a picture of is directly behind me, some metal framework. If I had a better camera this would have turned out better; I should consider investing in one sometime soon.

Next, just a windy view of the river and the walking/biking bridge.

And finally, a view of the misty dam through the gate. I couldn’t get closer, and unfortunately the view dock is closed off unless you are on a tour.

Never Meant to Last

I dragged my fingers through the sand and
asked myself how anyone could find this zen.
This fire eating at my mind, these gripping tensions breaking,
bursting through my veins.
I raked through the garden with the metal pronged toothpick,
my blood boiling like whistling pot.
Swung my arm, got up, turned around, lashed out at the first thing I saw.
Sand showered over fallen scattered shattered glass.
It was never meant to last.

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A Perfect Storm Never Fades

The clouds have not parted.
The sky is still grey.
From the ground itself shines a bright phosphorescence,
which makes it look like day.

That is not to say that the cloud cover cannot lessen,
or that no ray of sunlight can ever shine through.
But, by giving up on dependence on the sun above, one can see that the truest light shines from me and you.


We walk this path along a road between fallen trees,
leading deep into our minds. Roads separate, side by side. I heard a crow call from your road and I stopped to turn around. It was not there. Or I could not see it. It was only an illusion. Illusion.

There may be another way to live, but if there is it has never been known to me. It’s the exact same to say that there could be another way to see. All of these perceptions, lenses, do they amount to anything when we can only know one? I cast them away, they are in doubt. Just an illusion.

Illusion, a lie. Real is what is near to me. Real is what I can touch, smell, feel, breath, know, think, perceive. I cannot perceive what others do. I cannot look the way others do. I never want to. I know the truth. I know my way is my way, the others are an illusion to me. An illusion.

Cast them off, these lies of empathy. Just because I can know things about you and what you feel does not mean I can feel it as you do, from your vantage point. I will never know how you feel. I can never know how you feel. To know is an illusion. Nothing more than an illusion.

Take it down like a painting covering a crack, throw it off like a mask. Destroy them. Crush it in your hand. I did. It felt amazing to me. Would it to you? Take a try, throw all you know away. Spin it around and turn it about face sharply, watch as it dissolves into illusion. A complete illusion.

We walk these paths, side by side, never crossing. Can they be crossed? Can one ever change lanes, lenses? My mind is my road, your mind your road, and perhaps there is only room for one on each. I will learn to try to know you. I will learn where the illusion falls. If it is the void between minds, I will know you. If the illusion is the idea of empathy, then may we continue in our own thoughts, never knowing another’s. Or perhaps, may we give in to the comfort of illusion.

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Fortune Cookies

The fortune cookie, a “Chinese” treat of American origin found at Chinese food restaurants and confused restaurants of non-Chinese fare, has changed quite a bit over time. At first, fortune cookies had fortunes in them. Then, they started saying vague philosophical things, like “Boarders are imaginary lines” or “Life is what you make of it.”

Now they have become aware of the very workings of our minds.

I looked at the little scrap of all knowing paper and attempted to make sense of it. I consider myself the creative type, yet the all knowing cookie was saying I am analytical. Then I realized I had just try to logically and practically examine the “fortune” cookie.

Fortune cookies, you never let us down! You know all there is to know!

100th Post!

This is my 100th Projection On Paper blog post published! Over the last four months I have updated Projections On Paper at least once every two days with short stories, spontaneous rants (many of which I have received great feedback on), poems, video photography in the form of “Life Captures“, a small handful of more personal posts (I have sworn off of caffeinated beverages after that hospital trip…) and more. I have no intention of slowing down anytime soon, because, and I have said this before and I will again, a world in motion stays in motion. You can either keep running or let it leave you behind.

I wanted to do something special for this post. At first I wanted to update my favicon with an updated logo. After toying around with it, I decided against updating the favicon; the words would not show up well. However, I have decided to make the below the new official logo of It will be posted on the about page.

It’s only a little different, but I like it!

Here’s another one I made for fun. I can do a lot with this logo!


Looks very… surreal.


Again, I have been enjoying writing this blog and am excited to have reached 100 posts. I have a fairly high average number of hits a day (especially given the sparse comments), around 100 a day (not counting myself of course), and over 320 unique visitors to the site, including a somewhat large handful of people I have tracked as regular visitors. All things considered, that’s not too bad for four months of a blog, having spent zero in google AdWords and not being someone famous.


Happy 100th post, Projection On Paper!

Pedestrian’s Request

Intersections are not, in fact, a race. As a pedestrian, every time you, in your car, feel the urge to drive an extra 5 feet, past the line and blocking the sidewalk, I am now forced to walk into the middle of the street.

If you are going to run a red light, run it. Don’t move five to six feet, block my path then sit there until the light goes green. Why did you move early at all? Just to block the sidewalk?

You not only put me in danger by forcing me to either walk into the middle of the road or behind your car and in front of the half-dazed driver who will no doubt follow your five feet without thinking, you often make me miss my walk light. Sometimes that UPS truck speeding down the road doesn’t look like a good one to walk in front of. Sometimes the person behind you is, in fact, just following the person in front of them, and will hit me.

There is that white line on the road for intersections. You are not supposed to pass that. That’s my walking lane. It’s the same thing as crossing a double white line on the highway as far as I see it. You are not getting where you are going faster by nudging your car up a few extra feet. You are just making it annoying for people on the sidewalk.