The Secret Keeper #132 – Silent Alarm

She was trying to read the screen. It was dark and the cell’s light was giving her an instant headache, her arm was falling asleep from her leaning on it, and she thought, “who the hell is texting me at this hour?”

Jane stared at the bright screen while fumbling to turn down the brightness level. “My god, my eyes can’t take this!” The bedroom, being pitch black with everything unplugged, blackout curtains on the one small window, made this horrid little device light up the whole area. She had forgotten to turn off the notification signal and screen level before retiring. That was a rare occurrence for Jane, since she was an insomniac. She tried everything possible to achieve a good night’s sleep and disabling her phone was one of them.

Not only did the text bell keep ringing, the vibration mechanism was beginning to cause annoyance on the early levels of rage. Tempted to throw her phone off to the side, she straightened to a sitting position. It must be important, but much as she stared at the screen, her eyes refused to focus.

Suddenly she heard an alarm. It was loud and piercing. She jumped out of bed and gathered her robe. Fire alarms rarely went off in this new apartment building, but she knew better than to take it for granted. She opened her front door to see the man across the hall similarly activated. “What’s going on”, he asked her and Jane just shrugged her shoulders.

Firefighters and police drove into the parking lot, sirens blaring. “Please step to the middle of the lot, ma’am”, they told her. She obeyed, only noticing then she had no slippers. Grasping her robe tighter around her, she and her neighbors watched as all apartments were checked. There had been a grease fire on the third floor, but no one was injured. After an hour or more they were all allowed back into their homes.

“So now I’m up! Another night of no sleep. I should be happy I’m safe”. Giving up on slumber, Jane returned to her bedroom after raiding the fridge. She turned on the television, and was just settling in to watch an old rerun of “MASH” when she remembered her phone. She had dropped it when she heard the alarm. Picking it up, her eyes having adjusted to light, saw it was a text from her mother. Apparently her mother had woken up to a feeling of danger for Jane, and wanted to make sure she was alright. Jane texted her mother to tell what happened and they wrote a few more lines to each other before saying I love you and goodnight.