My eyes flew open.  It was still dark.  Sometimes my dreams are so vivid that I can’t be sure if I heard something in real life or if it carried over from a dream just upon wakening.  So I waited.


It was real.  And it was a little more persistent this time.  This was no chirp.

I ran to the security box to check our “status”.  The only information I gleaned was that it was currently 4:15 am and nothing was wrong.


I ran back to the hallway to try to find the sound.  I still thought carbon monoxide (because isn’t that typically when it kills the whole family – at 4:15 am.?)  But the hall was quiet.  Was it coming from the monitor?  From upstairs?


These beeps were not normal beeps.  Not you-forgot-to-charge-your-phone beeps. These were LOUD BEEPS.

About this time my husband woke up. (What I wouldn’t give for just a little obliviousness.)

“What in the hell?”

“I don’t know.  The alarm status is OK.  I don’t know what it is.”


“It’s your phone,” he said, with accusation dripping through the snarl.

“No, it’s not!”

BEEEEP.  BEEEEP.  BEEEEP.  It was becoming increasingly more persistent, as though I wasn’t trying hard enough.

Finally, Mike remembered the old smoke detector. The ancient one we took down when the alarm was wired for fire.  The one in his closet.  The one with the battery still in it. Yeah, that one.

By this time it was just a constant BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.  He grabbed it and snatched the battery out.



He tried to fall back asleep, but couldn’t, so he decided to read the paper.  First he apologized for the accusation and the snarl.  I rolled over into another crazy,vivid dream which did not involve any beeps whatsoever.


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