I hate the sound that smoke alarms make. Luckily, the noise seldom occurs at our house. My parents make sure they change the batteries every time the clocks fall back or leap forward. The alarms do make an awful sound when they are changed, and when that happens, a disembodied voice comes from it, which makes me hide and River stand on her back paws and bark at it.
A couple of days after the batteries were changed, my parents were sitting in their chairs, and I was snuggled next to Daddy when there was one long, sharp beep that caused me to stand, look at the monster that made the sound, and tremble.
My parents looked at the smoke/carbon dioxide detector on the wall. They knew it couldn’t be the batteries, and there was no smoke anywhere. Then they decided to do nothing, considering the possibility that the detector just wasn’t feeling well, and would do better in the morning. I realized my parents were wrong, but they wouldn’t listen to me.
Sure enough, the next day, while we were sitting in the same spot, the high pitched sound pierced our skulls again. My Dad got up and looked at the alarm. I barked to try and get his attention. I had something important to say. But he told me to settle down. He decided to change the batteries.
But that didn’t fix anything. The same sound was emitted the next day. Daddy removed the smoke detector from the wall, took out the batteries, and threw it out. He decided that it was broken. He ordered a new one. I tried to tell him that he wouldn’t help, but he wasn’t listening.
So now, there was a hole in the wall where the device had been. My parents were confident the problem had been solved. The next day at 2:30 in the afternoon, the sound happened again. My parents looked at the hole in the wall mystified. Daddy got a kitchen chair and stood on it to look down into the hole and see if that vast, empty space was somehow beeping. This is what I have to work with. My parents were stumped at the disembodied sound. Perhaps, they were being haunted by the smoke alarm they had discarded.
The next day a new smoke alarm arrived. Batteries were put in it, causing the disembodied voice to bark commands, and then it was placed on the wall. The smoke alarm problem of 2020 had been solved, or so they thought. I knew the truth. The beeping wouldn’t stop.
Two days later, there was another shrill beep. My parents stared at the new smoke detector. I jumped in Daddy’s lap and licked his chin, trying to make him look up higher. River Song was of no help. To her, the whole thing was just white folk’s problems. Daddy, for the 87th time since the curious case of the beeping began, changed the batteries. I sunk in the recliner. I knew it wasn’t going to work.
It took 48 hours for the beep to occur again. Daddy looked at the device flummoxed. He said this was impossible. I tried to get him to look up a little higher. He was ranting at the fates, and perhaps, in an attempt to eyeball them, he looked up toward the ceiling and saw what I had known was the culprit from the first beep. There was a second smoke detector, hardwired to the ceiling, a foot away from the accused.
` He turned to my Mommy and said, “Honey, has that always been there?
Now, keep in mind, we have only lived here for nine years. You can’t notice everything in a house that is 84 feet long, eight feet wide, and only has one floor, even if you are stuck in it for weeks. I did not want to chastise my parents. I just wanted the beeping to stop, which, with a battery removal from the ancient unit, was accomplished.
So now, the terrible beeping is over until batteries run out on the other devices. I am just happy I was here to help them.
They would be so lost without me.