Flash Fiction: Tapping (or in my case Taps)

The prompt from Carrot Ranch this week was tapping. The first thing I thought of was the playing of TAPS. Most people associate the melancholy bugle notes with funerals but I have been stationed on bases where they were played at 10:00p each night to signify the end of the day or the start of quiet hours. I liked hearing it.

Once again practicing my show don’t tell skills. The military is famous (or maybe infamous!) for it’s work hard, play hard mentality. Something I experienced a lot during deployments. These days I find myself thinking a day is really good if I have a nice mix of work, play and relaxation. Hopefully I reflected that a bit in this story.


I lay in bed, drowsy, waiting for my cue to sleep.  It had been a good day, one that I thought of as well balanced. I worked hard all day diagnosing and fixing a rudder issue on my F-16 and then beat the boss’s team in a volleyball match.  The chow hall had my favorite version of mystery meat for dinner.  I spent the evening cleaning my boots and watching the latest episode of “Breaking Bad”.

 Now the moon shown down and cool air rippled through the window.

And then I heard it, taps, the signal for lights out.

7 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Tapping (or in my case Taps)

  1. Yes, you did convey the satisfaction of a “good day”. How interesting, Taps as a signal to sleep, like a bed time story for little kids, or the open window nature night noises for some of us. How long were you in the military? Do you still need a structured bed time?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well played, Tracey! Thanks for giving us that insight on TAPS. It makes me think of honor and courage when I hear it which could be a pleasant way to end the day. I appreciate how your story humanizes the service experience. And Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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