Near-Near Death Experience

Last night, as I dreamt happily of white sandy beaches and shopping malls (I wish I was lying about this, but no, my subconscious really is that predictable), I was disturbed by a loud BEEPing noise. "BEEP!" said the noise. "Mmmfffghttfmm" said I, turning over, and returning to my dream, in which I was now clip-clopping along a sunny country lane on a horse. (Horses figure frequently in my dreams, too.)

"BEEP!" said my horse.
"Mmmfffghttfmm!! GOD!" said I, turning over once again, and returning to my lane, this time without my trusty steed, but with the (very welcome) addition of a Marc Jacobs handbag. Result! But no! "BEEP!" said my Marc Jacobs handbag. Gah!

I sat up in bed. "This is no dream!" I said. "This is the carbon monoxide alarm on the bedroom wall, waking me from my slumbers!"
"BEEP!" said the carbon monoxide alarm on the wall.
"*&^%!" said I.

I leaned over and prodded Terry in the back. "Terry!" I said, "Wake up, carbon monoxide is leaking from the thingy and we are totally going to die!"
Terry sat up and looked at me, uncomprehending. "Huh?" he said, scratching his head.
"We are totally going to die," I repeated helpfully, explaining about the carbon monoxide alarm, and the BEEP! but not mentioning the Marc Jacobs handbag. "Best to leave that for morning," I thought, wisely.

Terry stared at the alarm. I stared at the alarm. We both stared at the alarm.

Long minutes passed.

Terry looked at me, I looked at Terry. Terry sighed heavily and made as if to lie back down.

"BEEP!" said the carbon monoxide alarm on the wall. Whew!

Terry got up to examine the alarm. Immediately, a problem became apparent, this being that the "I am running out of battery power" noise on this alarm is a lot like its "OMFG! You are all going to DIE!" noise. At 4am in the morning (for such was the time), the two noises were almost indistinguishable. Did we need to vacate the house immediately, on fear of death, or did we just need to take a trip to Asda to buy new batteries? Who knew? Not me, anyway.

To solve this little dilemma, Terry removed the batteries from the CMA, opened the bedroom window, got back into bed and instantly returned to his dreams, which were probably about computers and Elle from Neighbours. I let this go for, oooh, at least thirty seconds, before prodding him awake again and unleashing a hysterical torrent of questions relating to us, the alarm, and the likelihood of us making it through the night. Terry told me at least ten times that yes, he was absolutely sure it was just the battery running out (yes, 100% sure) before finally going back to sleep. I, meanwhile, lay awake for hours, eyes wide open in terror, convinced that if I closed them? I would surely never open them again. (I also got up to remove the batteries from my camera to try them in the alarm, but they, too, were dead. Note to self: stop leaving camera switched on at all times. Only stupid people do that.)

And thus passed the night. This morning? Absolutely exhausted. Need sleep. Lovely, warm, non-poisonous sleep. Alas, the workload, it is crippling, so no sleep for me. But at least we’re still alive. That’s always a good way to start the day, I find.

Note from Terry: There was absolutely no doubt that it was the low-battery warning, not the carbon monoxide warning. Four times this has happened now. Amber = crazy.

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books by Amber Eve