Picture this: a woman, asleep in her bed, is awakened by a shrill noise. Startled and barely awake, she struggles to reach the cell phone on her nightstand. Surely, the noise must be the alarm she set on the phone for her 8:30 wake up.
Horrified, she discovers it is not the phone alarm but something much more sinister and it is coming from inside her condo!
The offending party? The hallway smoke detector. It's sound so deafening that it woke all occupants inside the condo unit. The fully awake woman investigates for fire. No smell of smoke and earlier in the night, there were no signs of a malfunction or low battery on the device.
She grabs a battery and pulls a chair under the smoke detector. She climbs the chair but she is not tall enough to reach the detector. At this point, a second detector goes off. The first alarm set off a chain reaction.
The decibel level is unbearable and the woman's three cats run crazily around the condo.
All is not calm or bright.
The woman calls the fire department. She could not chance the alarm continuing and waking up the other unit owners. It was now 4:45 in the morning. She corrals the cats into the bedroom so they will not bolt out the front door when the firemen arrive.
She grabs sweatpants and a jacket meant for outdoor wear and gets dressed. The firemen arrive and determine there is no fire. One of the firemen stands on the chair and replaces the battery which powers the battery backup. One alarm is silenced. The firemen start to leave when the woman asks if they can silence the second alarm by also changing that battery.
One of the firemen snaps at the woman,"We are not a battery changing service!" But the younger firemen takes pity on the woman and he climbs the chair and changes the battery.
The silence is a welcome sound. The firemen's footsteps are the only sound remaining in the building. The woman closes the door when they leave and lets the cats out of the bedroom. She makes one trip to the bathroom before retiring to bed. A quick check in the mirror reveals bedhead. The woman is too exhausted to be embarrassed about the firemen seeing her with bedhead!
She retreats to her bed and finally falls asleep after the adrenaline rush wears off. She awakens the next morning, feeling tired and jet lagged.
She wonders was it all a dream or did she enter the twilight zone?