The mesh forms a barrier, although not completely. Screens block some particles, but not those small enough to get through. Looking through the mesh of a window, the screen remains unseen unless it becomes the focus.
Writers explored this permeable obstruction. The word itself holds different meanings. All was open to interpretation.
The following stories are based on the November 16, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use the word mesh in a story.
Awaited by Allison Maruska
Today has been long awaited.
I move slowly down the long hall towards my destiny, the place where my past and present mesh into a single moment. I swallow, as if that will quell my nerves.
Spectators are waiting. For some, today is a long promise finally fulfilled. It’s strange to think that, as the reason they’re here has nothing to do with them. The real reason isn’t among these faces. She’s vibrant in my mind’s eye, though. She’s eternally beautiful there.
A moment before my time, the official’s voice breaks through.
“May God have mercy on your soul.”
No Deterrent by Kim Blades
It was a ten foot high, heavily barbed, wire mesh fence. Supposedly a barrier to disincline would be intruders.
It worked for a while. Forty four nights in total.
Forty five nights after the formidable fence was constructed, a couple of local thieves with wire cutters worked for twenty minutes to cut out a doorway in the barbed mesh.
They laid the mesh ‘door’ on the grass and proceeded to enter the property that backed onto the river.
They stole a lawnmower and the light fittings on the back verandah.
The thieves didn’t bother to replace the mesh door.
Blaggards and Traitors by Jack Schuyler
Big Richie blew a stream of smoke across the desk and Carlson coughed through his gag.
“My network’s a fabric, Carlson, a mesh of thieves and blaggards.”
Carlson’s eyes watered and a tear dripped from his ruddy cheek.
“But for traitors, I’ve no tolerance. What use does a snag have but to unravel the whole garment?” Richie slammed a handgun on the desktop.
Carlson struggled desperately against his constraints.
“I’ve no choice Carlson, a snag’s got to be cut from the mesh.”
He raised his gun and Carlson let out a final whimper before being severed from the mesh.
Why Flies Hate Blair Toilets by Anne Goodwin
Why do you hate us, humans? Because we visit your kitchens with dung on our feet? That’s our culture, dammit. We mean no harm.
We were as excited as you were: brand new latrines! No more long commutes from heap to heap under the scorching sun. We followed the smell around the corner, dipped down the pit for a feast. Stated, we soared towards the light. Bam! Blocked by wire mesh.
We cannot retrace our flight path to the entrance. Evolution taught us to trust in light. Why do you hate us, humans? Why shorten our already short lives?
Mesh Fly Screen by Michael
When we first went to visit the town, we were to spend the next eight years in the hotel we stayed in during the height of the summer had no mesh fly screens. The Manager showed us to our room and then proceeded to catch the flies finding our open door too good to resist.
With her fingers, she hunted them down, squeezed them and threw them out the door as more happily invaded us.
It was one of the few down sides to living in the country, mesh screens were a rare sight, but myriads of flies were common.
“Don’t we form an extraordinary mish-mesh?” Her fingers twisted into the smooth dark curls at the back of his neck.
“Don’t you mean mish–mash, my love?”
“No, we don’t mash. That’s what steel forks do to potoatoes, violently pummelling them into submission. That’s not us at all. We mesh.”
To prove her point she threw her free arm over his chest and wrapped her leg around his bare calf.
“Our mish-mesh will keep everything bad out.”
“And everything good in” he added, slipping his hand into hers.
They clutched at this dream as they clung to each other.
Mesh by FloridaBorne
“She don’t mesh with nobody!” Audra’s father complained. “Must be yer side o’ the family.”
“Horace, you moron! She’s just like yer Aunt Clara with gettin’ scholarships!”
“She ain’t int’rested in boys!”
“My sister was pregnant at 14,” Audra said. “I’m going to college!”
“Yer 16. Yer ma birthed you at 13, her ma birthed at 14. What’s wrong with you, girl?”
“Wrong is having 4 daughters with 2 children each, and living off welfare,” Audra said. “Try forcing me to be with a man and I’ll call child abuse!”
“Best ta let the renegades go,” her mother sighed.
Flash Fiction by Pete Fanning
The kid hoisted the bag of slop in the dumpster. It hit with a splat and he toweled his hands with his apron.
Mesh popped up. “Oh. Hey Brooke, I didn’t see, um, you okay?”
“Yeah, it’s just…” She blew a cloud of smoke to the sky, wiped her face into the shining smile that raked in the tips. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“I swear to god if Paul touches my ass again…”
“You should say something. He owns the restaurant, he doesn’t own you.”
“Is that like some Hindu Indian wisdom?”
“No, it’s common sense.”
The Call to Adventure by Colleen Cheseboro
Abby sat up in bed. There it was again. A strange buzzing sound echoed through the room. The ability to understand the languages of all creatures had also given her excellent hearing. She could hear a pin drop a mile away. Today, this sound shouted for her attention.
Abby shivered. The sound continued. Curious, she crept toward the window. Drawing the blinds, she gasped in surprise. It was a bee, crawling on the mesh screen stuck between the glass window.
“Save us,” it hummed.
That would prove to be a tall order for a girl with a bee allergy.
Solit’s Web by Liz Husebye Hartmann
She’d climbed down the drainage tunnel, crawling due east, then straight down. That ladder better not end before the tunnel did. Beau had promised, and he was getting 60% of the take for having the only map to Solit. She had the muscle and the stealth, so it fell to her to do the actual theft.
She snapped on her headlamp. The steel mesh of the spider’s web gleamed below her, easy enough to drop down to, but how was she going to get back up?
Oh well. She’d figure that out, once she’d snatched the queen’s ruby eggs.
Seeing the Elephant by D. Avery
Robert was practically running now.
He would have missed sugar season, but his father would appreciate his help with spring planting. His father wouldn’t ask him, as the man on the train had, about the Battle of the Wilderness.
Soon he’d be eating Ma’s cooking, would tousle the hair of his baby brother, six now, teach him everything there was to know, would have him driving the team, set him up with his own team of oxen. Robert ached to again work the farm, to mesh with the seasons.
Almost home; soon he would set this damn musket down.
Flash Fiction by Irene Waters
The kick in the stomach woke her. “Stop spinning you bastard,” her husband yelled as his arms flailed and his leg moved into position for another punch to the gut. Cassandra moved quickly, shaking him from sleep. Travis awoke with a start; pale, sweating and obviously frightened. “Cassie, thank god you were there.” His eyes were wide with fear as though he could still see the demon of his dream. “The web the spider wove is supposed to catch dreams and filter out the bad ones but she was enmeshing me, making me part of the world wide web.
The Spoiler by Rosemary Carlson
”Why do some people have to spoil everything?” I wondered out loud, as I stared through the mesh of the screen door into the jungle of the yard. I was thinking of the old man at the pier. I had thought, last year when visiting here, that he was my friend. This year, it was clear he wasn’t.
I loved to go to the pier at sunset. The Gulf was so peaceful. The sunset so beautiful. A man was there who I used to enjoy talking to. No more. Now he only wanted to argue. I didn’t know why.
Like a Friendly Spider by Kerry E.B. Black
When as a child I didn’t get along with someone, my mom would say we didn’t “mesh.” An optimistic humanist, I had a hard time accepting this. I’d re-work my approach toward friendship, hoping to integrate into their lives. I’d learn a sport, watch popular films, read trending books. Still, the “mesh” eluded me.
As I grew, classmates changed to fit into intricate webs of friendship.
So I weaved a new fabric, one accepting others’ diverse contributions. Not everyone would want to be a part of my web, and that was okay. I could mesh with those who did.
Pair Unbonding by Frank Hubeney
The puzzle pieces didn’t mesh together. Robert thought something was missing.
One: Robert’s girlfriend, Sylvia, spent the weekend with Paul.
Two: Sylvia discovered Paul already had a girlfriend.
Three: Sylvia’s girlfriends advised her to go back to Robert. “He’ll get over it.” He’s better than nothing.
Robert heard of autistic people who could see the hidden patterns of puzzle pieces. They could fix intractable problems, but Janice wasn’t autistic nor was she motivated to solve such puzzles. Her approach was simpler. She become the missing piece and made a blanket from the others to keep her and Robert warm.
Mesh by Judy E Martin
The metallic clanking appeared to be coming from the kitchen. “PETE, what are you doing?”
Silence, then more clanking with additional thudding. Irritated, Sarah got out of bed, went to the bathroom then headed downstairs for some water to moisten her dry mouth.
“I’LL ALWAYS LOVE YOOOOOOO.” Dear God, not the singing! Opening the kitchen door Sarah’s stomach growled at the aroma of frying bacon, her eyes then drawn to the discarded egg shells, and crumbs from a semi hacked loaf.
“Fanshy a shnack?” Sensing disapproval Pete apologised. “Shorry, I sheem to have made a bit of a mesh!”
Mesh Unit by Bill Engleson
“Not much. Oh, did I mishear you?”
“No, I misspoke.”
I am silent.
I want to remember.
“She’ll put you up,” Terri had said.
“She’s only met me once.”
“Don’t worry. I noticed the spark. You’ll be like lox and cream cheese.”
It was a bitter winter. The Greyhound was having heating issues.
Her dark hair, unfathomably red lips, welcoming arms, met me at the terminal.
“It’s small,” she said. “We’ll have to share…everything.”
“I have little,” I said, “So that should be easy.”
Now, a fuzzy memory.
It’s amazing how moments fly.
Mesh in Shadorma by Lady Lee Manila
their memories mesh
caught in a mesh of crosses
and double crosses
like a shoal
herrings trashed in net
play on fears
reality of nature
form intricate mesh
mesh of power equations
conflicts between them
he and she
her frame mesh with his
his heart beats with hers, in time
like no tomorrow
almost feel her warmth
between them there’s just one soul
be in harmony
together make sweet music
and forever more
Flash Fiction by Susan Sleggs
“Melding two people in marriage is like weaving your personalities into a strong mesh. Today I know your special mesh is as fine as Lilly’s wedding veil. It is my duty to warn you, life will present trials that will stretch the spaces and even create holes. Disputes can be about anything from how to raise your children, to spend money, or deal with your in-laws. I challenge you to never let your mesh get a hole in it. Do you accept my challenge?”
The reverend eyed the bride’s family as the naive couple answered in unison, “We do.”
Meshed by Ritu Bhathal
Sitting together in the backseat, our fingers met and slowly entwined. Our eyes met and a smile spread across our faces.
It had been a big day today. Emotional, but worth every tear I had shed.
After vows had been taken, congratulations had been exchanged, music and merriment, feasting and festivities had finished, the final goodbyes had started.
Looking back, I saw my family waving. Looking forward, his family held their arms open, welcoming me.
It was then I realised that there was no them and us, but two families, forever meshed together because of our love and union.
Bridging the Gap by Reena Saxena
“I can take you to the doctor, if needed.”
This was his first sentence spoken to her after three months. The marriage was shaky. But, Tisha was not willing to give up so easily. It was an ego battle, more than anything else. She was secretly happy that he had been watching her growing unease with the old spinal problem.
“I don’t think it is that bad. A good back rub might ease the tense nerves.”
“I’ll fix an appointment for you with the physiotherapist.”
Shucks! She had managed to break the glass, but the mesh was still there.
Not Today by Sherri Matthews
I knocked once: waited; then again. No sound. I checked my phone. Nothing. I drew a deep breath and knocked again; at last I saw his outline through the mottled glass pane. He hadn’t opened the door yet, but I knew it would be a bad day. Rain fell, steady and cold. He must have heard it, yet he took an age to find his key while I got soaked. I watched him shuffle, shoulders slumped, to the door and I wondered when I would see him sharp and clear again, no longer through shadowed mesh. But not today.
Fleecing Lint by JulesPaige
As a teenager, Holly got local job. Certainly not something
that was going to be a career – working at the corner dry-
cleaners and laundromat. The chemical smell was horrid.
And people literally dropped off their dirty laundry by the
pound. Pockets had to be checked, and stains had to be
noted in case they couldn’t be removed.
A ‘perk’ was cleaning the dryers mesh lint traps. Sometimes
loose change could be found. Holly did not feel obliged to
report these treasures to the owners. She felt she deserved
that can of pop or candy bar gotten from chump change.
The Mesh by Cheryl Oreglia
I admit these baby blues screen me from the more painful realities of life. They are the mesh I stand behind, like bars of a prison, some days I’m looking in, and others I’m looking out. A sacred veil of sorts, or stained glass window that matches the sky, this is the sanctuary from which I view the world. Unlike contacts, I can’t remove them, especially when they fail to serve me, grooming my ignorance, and blurring my wisdom. My mesh is invisible to me, but not to the outside world, an ideological screen interwoven with human fallibility.
Strong Foundations by Nora Colvin
Jamie heard the vehicles; the doors slam; then men’s voices. He looked to his mum. She smiled and nodded. Dad was already there, giving instructions.
“Watch, but don’t get in the way,” he’d said.
Clara arrived, breathless. “What’s happenin’?”
“Carport. Pourin’ the slab,” he answered. “That’s the frame. Keeps it in shape.”
Beep. Beep. Beep. The concrete truck backed into position.
The men quickly spread the mix, then lifted the mesh into place.
“Makes it strong,” said Jamie.
Another load of mix was spread.
“All done,” said Jamie.
Later, in the sandpit, the children experimented with strengthening their structures.
The Volcano by Robbie Cheadle
Craig wanted a volcano island play set. Mom said she would show him how to make one. She bought a wooden board and the makings for paper mache. First, Mom made the basic shape of the volcano out of some wire mesh which she bent into a hump-like shape. Then, they made the paper mache out of water, wood glue and newspaper, torn into strips. Mom showed Craig how to pack the soggy, gluey newspaper over the mesh hump and shape it into a volcano. It took a week to dry and then they painted it. It was impressive.
Between Here and There (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
Danni trailed a finger across the mesh. The screened box rested empty, all the dry artifacts now collected. Her vision blurred. The mesh veils the place between here and there. The thought startled Danni. No, the mesh is a tool. She shook off her stupor and focused on the Styrofoam trays that contained shards of crockery, broken glass and rusty square nails. After transporting sixty-seven trays to the lab, she flicked off the lights. In the dark, she thought again about space and time. If material items and bones remain, where does the energy of the spirit depart to?
Flash Fiction by Pensitivity
Dad was the mesh that held us together.
Now he’s gone and the hole he left has grown wider, more ragged, more irregular.
Try as I might to fix it, mend it or patch it, short of replacing the entire thing I was on a hiding to nothing.
But nothing could ever replace Dad.
The fresh and new didn’t fit, so wrapped and warped in their own lives they didn’t know the man who was my father, my rock. Stories had no meaning, no memories.
Now not even the framework remains. It lies broken and discarded, forgotten and empty.
The Porch Between by D. Avery
“Kid, why you got them tools and that mesh screenin’?”
“Feelin’ like doin’ somethin’ nice for Shorty, gonna screen in the front porch where ever’one sets ‘n tell stories.”
“Ta keep mosquitos ‘n such from botherin’ us.
“Ya could, an’ this bein’ fiction an’ all you might even do a real fine job.”
“But Kid, this bein’ fiction an’ all, we can jes’ say we ain’t got skeeters.”
“That a fact?”
“Yep. ‘Cause this’s fiction.”
“Like alternate facts?”
“So no skeeters.”
“And an unimpeded view from Shorty’s porch.”
“Things look good from here.”
“That’s a fact.”
Thanksgiving by D. Avery
“Whatcha got there, Kid?”
“Lemme guess. Got yerself a mess a bacon.”
“Nope, I got carrots.”
“An’ yer gonna roast ‘em, wrapped in bacon.”
“Nope. Jes’ carrots.”
“Oh, boy, here we go. Let’s hear it then.”
“The whinin’ an’ lamentin’ about the dearth of bacon here at the ranch.”
“Dearth, Kid, lack, scarcity.”
“Well, Pal, there is no scarcity. D’ Earth provides. Look at these beautiful carrots I pulled from d’ earth. Here, I’m giving you some.”
“Yep, I’m givin’ thanks. I’m thankful fer ever’one at the ranch, an’ fer Shorty’s raw carrots.”