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Alarms in the night

     You know how those hotel alarm clocks wake you in the middle of the night because someone left it set at three a.m. and the housekeeper never reset it and suddenly in the middle of your peaceful vacationing sleep a strange voice shouts loudly from the nightstand or worse—a deafening buzz keeps repeating and you can't for the life of you find the turn-off-the-alarm button? This was something like that except I wasn't on vacation and I wasn't in a hotel. I was safe and sound, sleeping in my own bed, blissfully unaware of any strange noises in the night. Prob'ly because there weren't any. Yet.

     I fell asleep around eleven-thirty. I was sleeping soundly, like you do the first few hours of your sleep before the dreams come to play havoc with your mind. The best time. . .

     Bip Bip Bip BEEEP! Bip Bip Bip! BEEEP! Staccato beeps were bouncing out of… out of where? It was coming from my nightstand. I looked at the clock: one a.m. I grabbed my phone. Was it one of those emergency alert signals? A fire alert? An earthquake? Had I set a notification sound I didn't know about? Not for 1 a.m., I didn't—not unless I hit a.m. instead of p.m. Now that's a possibility. . . But there were no notifications showing and no emergency alerts flashing on the screen. In the dark I groped around the phone trying to find what set off the sharp Bip Bip Bip BEEP-ing so I could turn the blasted thing off and—hopefully—go back to sleep.

     Nothing stopped the bipping and beeping. I turned the phone off and back on again to cancel out whatever setting was setting it off, but it kept beeping, even when it was off. By now I'm afraid I'm waking the whole household. I turned the phone off again and on again. Five minutes later the beeping stopped. I had no idea why.

     Yes, I went back to sleep—after getting my Kindle and reading for a half hour and turning on a mellow CD to lull me back to dreamland—but I feared for my life. Well, not for my life but for a peaceful night's sleep for the rest of my life because I had no idea what set off that beeping and was it going to happen every night at one a.m.? I could always just stay up 'til one but if I didn't know how to turn it off, what good would that do?

     The next night around ten-thirty, I approached my bed with much trepidation. Did I want to be woken with loud Bip Bip Bip BEEPing after I'd snuggled under the covers and gone blissfully to sleep? No! But. . .

     As I turned the small clock on my nightstand to make room for my phone, the light came on! Not the lamp on the nightstand, the light in my head. Could it be? I picked up the clock. I looked closely at the settings, particularly the settings for time and alarm. The time was fine. I pressed the button for setting the alarm.

     It was already set. For exactly one a.m. And. . .it was in the "on" position. I never use the alarm on that clock! Never! Could this be? I reset the alarm to nine p.m. to see what it sounded like.

     Bip Bip Bip BEEEP!

     I turned the alarm setting to "off" and settled in for a good night's sleep. It isn't always the phones loaded with apps that wreck our sanity. . . Must've been ghosts that set that alarm, because I sure didn't.

     P.S. Last night an hour after I drifted off to sleep, a loud buzzing woke me. This time it was an Amber Alert on my phone. You can't win -

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