A Projection On Paper story/proof I need more sleep/pretty terrible short-short story by Zachary Storch

Reptiles, (iguanas, to be more specific), are the only animal besides humans to play chess. I know this may seem hard to believe given their lack of thumbs and cognitive reasoning skills, but there are some regular reptilian Bobby Fisher’s. A more scaly chess master would not have lost to Deep Blue, and could most certainly best the Turk. It’s quite simple and all demonstrated by the events I saw during an afternoon three months ago. I was in the Caribbean. After finishing a round of golf and consuming extremely overpriced drinks at a local bar, I began the trek back to my hotel. On the way, I came across not one, but two of the aforementioned rock-climbing-quick-sprinting-cold-blooded creatures.

Logically, I set out to capture them.

The reptiles were fast. I dived at one of the two, but all I grabbed were painfully hot pebbles. They ran off, and I pursued. Off into the prickly bushes the four-legged demons ran, seeking to thwart my advance. I refused to give up, not so easily or quickly, even if I was in shorts. I grit my teeth and stomped through the needles, through the bladed foliage. At that my reptilian adversaries knew I had them in a tight spot. We were back on the golf course. One made for an artificially planted tree, and the other took a break towards the warm safety of a nearby sand-trap. Splitting up was a powerful move. I did what I had to. First, I ran and shook the tree with the climbing beast, vigorously so. That sent him tumbling down and sprinting to join his friend, to seek safety in the sand. I rushed over and kicked my foot through the dirt, giving them a start again. Back through the prickly bushes they went. Now, I was certain I had them on the run, that soon they would tire out. I went back through the brush again, legs bleeding, but I pushed onwards. The critters went into the road and still I followed, sure of my victory, when I was struck by a car.

For you see, the villainous masterminds had planned it all along. They may not have thumbs, but an iguana can play the world like a chess game.

Mirror on the Desk

The mirror on the desk
That belonged to her in life
Where she sat and combed her hair
And where she gave her daughter advice
On beauty and on living
and on how she should be herself
The girl took everything to heart
and now the mirror sits on her desk
She hardly ever uses it
but she can’t throw it away
It reminds her of another time
one different than this in every way
A happier place, simpler too
That place of zero direction
Of living in childhood for the moment
Never thinking too hard
and not seeing an end.


On the table was a wicker basket
and in the basket a deflated beach ball.
He used it three summers ago when
things were slower
and time was calm.
It’s near the window but sees
no sun, for it is shaded by the blinds.
It only feels the lamp light, leaving
the plastic sphere cold.
Artificial and not fitting of art.
Deflated and left for dead.
It rests there undisturbed by all
never to be thrown again.


For years and years, the concept of life on other planets was ridiculous to the mainstream scientific community. Now examining a crater on Mars may help to change that. Evidence of not only water, but the conditions for life underground were discovered. This is huge. In the past handful of years we have found that the Solar System is a wet place. Water can be found on several moons and planets. It’s on Mercury, the closest planet to the sun even! So now we are learning about potential conditions for life right over on Mars. Finding anything, either conclusive proof of past life on Mars or finding single cell organisms would be, in my opinion, the single greatest discovery in the history of the human race. I just hope I live to see that day. And I hope I don’t have to re-write any of my sci-fi novels.

Perfect Polypolar

Never waits but takes it’s time and yells silently sublime jumps high but crawls low sprints fast but can go slow and and keeps things up still knows when to stop and I know you know what I’m talking about because you should and its pretty but when has she tried to be sure hasn’t for me and it’s not like she’ll change for ever or for never or for sky or for life but that wasn’t who I was describing the one I was describing is a myth so I don’t know what’s being searched for when legends can’t be found so instead I sleep and instead I sing and my song is my signpost of discord it is red and sometimes not red because if it was always red it would not be chaotic so instead it is all colors and it shows them all at once but each only when convenient and I think that sounds familiar now but if it doesn’t picture the sun if you haven’t seen it before don’t look at it just imagine (because it’s not like you have seen it it’s a legend) and use that to continue behind the sun is only space and in the space dust and between the dust more space but if you keep going you can find seas and ice and water and it’s no different there than it is here and I really mean that it’s no different it’s got to be exactly the same I bet someone wrote this same letter but maybe not in English maybe it’s in something else like singing because even there you won’t find what can never be found but I’m not trying to convince you to give up I’m trying to explain that imagination is key and that the image of a perfect polypolar this everything that is never all at once is impossible so instead searching for a nearly or a mostly or an all but only one is feasible and just as easy to imagine.


It’s not that I’m dying
now and it’s not that I am stuck lying
down. But even so something in me has
torn. I need a
remedy. A lantern lit boat pushed out to
sea. On a scrap of paper inside is
her name. It’s not that I would wish her
dead and I swear on my
soul I don’t. But when February comes I wish I
could be on that death boat. It started thirteen
years ago and it lasted till
last week. I have no one but myself to
blame for being far too meek. Even so I curse
the world. I grit and bear my
teeth. I dip my finger in the
pool it swirls I’ve been a
fool. The blood mixes in like oil
paints. It fades but is not
faint. I’m stuck and
cold this February. I reach for red
berries. My only drink is melted
snow. Drop the black curtain but
do it slow. Let me go hit the
light. You and I must surely know this show must end

Fortune Cookies

Today I had crummy Chinese food court fare again (one of my favorites). When I grabbed my fortune cookie, it was connected to a second so I pulled not one but two onto my tray. I shrugged and figure machines make mistakes too and took the two cookies. I didn’t think anything of it and would not have, had the cookies said something different. When I opened the first, I realized I had opened them out of order. The first I opened said “Ignore previous cookie”. Given I had taken two connected cookies, clearly I just mixed up my order. Here are the two of them together.


What does it mean?

The cookie is never wrong. Now I just need to figure out what ignoring this one means.