"With I in my kerchief and Pete in his cap
We had just settled down for a long winter's nap
When out in the hallway there arose such a clatter
I sprung out of my bed to see what was the matter..."
It is midnight and every smoke detector in the house has started to screech.
Pete flies out of bed and immediately heads downstairs to check for fire.
Did I shut the stove off, I think to myself, or have I just burned down our precious home? I start to panic and race down the stairs behind my husband and into the kitchen....nothing.....no fire.....phew!
Pete heads to the basement to check our burner. I hear Nicholas upstairs starting to cry. Miraculously, Weston is still asleep.
Pete comes up from the basement, all is secure. He flies up the stairs and heads to the attic.
Weston springs suddenly awake and is screaming at the top of his lungs.
"AAAARRRRROOOOOO!" Muffy now joins in the commotion and starts howling from her crate.
Pete comes down from the attic, scratching his head...no smoke or fire.
"Did you change the batteries?" I ask the perplexed Pete.
"BE QUIET, I CAN'T HEAR MYSELF THINK!" he shouts loudly at everyone.
I let Muffy out, hoping this will help to stop her from howling and tone down some of the commotion. I look outside, half expecting to see the town fire department breaking down our front door.
Pete heads outside to get the tall ladder from his truck. Of course we have cathedral ceilings in our family room and that just happens to be where one of the screaming smoke detectors is located. Pete swings the ladder into the house and nearly takes out my pictures hanging on the walls.
"BE CAREFUL!" I shout, hoping my panicking husband doesn't slice himself now on shattered glass.
"MUUUMMMM, I CAN"T STAND IT!" Weston shouts. Nicholas is still crying. I take both boys upstairs and into their bedroom. I close the door as Pete quickly locates each blaring detector and pulls it off the ceiling like it's a hot, burning coal.
He has three down and still the remaining alarms are screaming.
"BLXTZRT! MJNYT OT HUJ!" I hear my husband scream every obscenity in the book. Thankfully, both boys have their heads under their pillows and their hands over their ears. I hear a few more bangs of the ladder and wonder what the walls are going to look like tomorrow when suddenly....
It is amazing to me how deafening silence can be once you are used to the blaring sound of a fire alarm.
"Thank God!" Weston says and pulls his head out from under the pillow. Sure enough like a pesky mosquito that won't leave you alone...
A few defiant protests from the silenced detector.
"What the bleep?" I hear my husband shout.
"Mom, why won't it stop?" Nicholas asks.
"I don't know Honey." I answer, wondering what on earth my husband is doing to the poor alarm.
For the next twenty minutes, the boys and I hear long periods of peaceful quiet broken abruptly by the continued screech of The Smoke Detector from Hell.
ERT....ERT....ERT....I'll get you....it says to my husband in its annoying pattern....ERT...ERT....ERT
ERZRTTTtttttttt........and one final.......SMASH!
At last, total silence....or is it? I spend the rest of the night with the boys trying to comfort them and put them back to sleep. I, myself, finally fall asleep with Weston's left foot tucked up into my kidney. I am asleep but waiting for the next ERT.
Thankfully, my persistent husband has somehow silenced the possessed device and it is quiet for the rest of the night.
The next morning, Pete leaves early for work.
Later, as Weston, Nicholas and I awake and came downstairs for breakfast. We see the poor, pesky smoke detector sitting in a mound of tiny pieces on the kitchen counter. Yes, The Smoke Detector from Hell finally met its match last night as my dear husband decided to put it out of its misery!
"Mom, is that the smoke detector?" Weston asks.
"Yep, what's left of it anyway." I answer.
"Daddy saved us!" Nicholas shouts and claps his hands.
"Well let's just say I don't think this one is ever going to bother us again." I answer. Then suddenly, I swear I heard one last...soft but defiant....
p.s. We still haven't found the cat.