How about a smoke detector with a volume control?
I found out how loud my smoke detector is the hard way—after browning homemade, old-fashioned meatballs a little bit too long in the oven yesterday afternoon… It took me 20 minutes and 4 apartment doors before I found someone to tell me that the alarm can’t be turned off manually. Meanwhile, my ears are still ringing—my building is the prototype for the city’s fire code so it’s got some of the most modern (and therefore, sensitive!) equipment—and they probably will be until Christmas. I’ve never heard a smoke detector shriek so obscenely loud.
So… appropriately and due to “popular” demand, I’m posting my first of many new short stories (I hope!). This one is called Flick and Flame. I hope it skirts the edge of the unexpected. Enjoy; please let me know what you think.