She shouldn't have caught
it. Who looks at the smoke detector in a hotel room? But
she happened to flop down on the bed in a way that made her eyes fall
right on it. The round disk, so neutral, with its speaker and tiny blinking
red light. Harmless, but for the way it blinked twice when she moved
and only once when she lie perfectly still. Staring at it for several
long seconds, she counted the pulses, one-one-one-one. She
reached her arm out across the bed and heard, or thought she heard,
the tiniest whirring sound and then one-two, one-two, one-one-one.
Centering her face in front of it, she sang, "Hello my sweetheart,
hello my honey, hello my ragtime ga-aal." She went down on one
knee with her arms out for the finale. Nothing. Probably some sort
of sensor, that's all. She took off all her clothes and danced
around for a bit to a commercial on the television. Find me now,
she said provocatively to the smoke detector. She turned the shower
as hot as she could stand, and stepped in, still dancing.
Katherine Eittreim was born
and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia State University
with a BA in Creative Writing. She has been a contributing editor for bluemilk Magazine. Her fiction has most recently been published
in Carve Magazine, and she is currently working on a collection
of short stories.