Dont be alarmed

Don’t Be Alarmed by

The heavy rain and dark clouds meant she couldn’t see the garden out the kitchen window. Yet she remembered clearly the sight last spring of a white-tail deer nibbling her pea plants, and her husband rushing out swinging a dish towel to scare the thing away.

Three shrill beeps from the coffee pot interrupted her meditations. She poured the last cup into her mug, congratulating herself again for buying the fancy coffee from New Orleans. Settling into the rocking chair, she sipped the dark, potent brew and tried to see through the downpour outside the parlor window.

Just as she got comfortable, the dryer started beeping. She didn’t remember it being quite so annoying, but hauled her body up to shut off the noise and fold the towels. She left them piled toasty and clean on top of the dryer. They’d get into the linen closet eventually.

Before she could get comfortable again, the oven started beeping. She couldn’t recall putting in a batch of cookies, but smiled when she thought of her husband’s child-like delight whenever he found fresh sweets in the house. She shut off the timer and put the cookies to cool.

As soon as she had the warm cookies laid out on racks, another beeping grabbed her attention. Why was the bedroom alarm clock going off? She’d been up for hours. She needed to make that sound stop.

The hallway stretched on forever, and the family portraits along the wall needed a serious dusting. She didn’t linger though, because she needed to get to the alarm clock in the bedroom.

“It’s time to go.”

Her husband was reaching down to click off the beeping alarm clock on the nightstand.

“But I’m not packed. I’m not ready.”

“That’s okay, Honey. It’s all taken care of.”

She stretched out her hand, and their fingers touched with a rush of light and warmth.

Call it. Time of death – 3:07.”





Karen Southall Watts is teaching, writing, and reinventing her life. Her flash fiction and poetry have been featured at Fairfield Scribes, Free Flash Fiction, The Drabble, Sledgehammer Lit, 101Words, Soren Lit and The Chamber Magazine. She is also the author of several business books and articles. Karen is a 2021 Pushcart nominee.

Reach her at @askkaren on Twitter



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