17. The Fire Alarm

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Jennifer's ears were "talking" to her. They were making little sounds, like little bubbles bursting. A "bubble" was bursting almost every second. It was not painful, but annoying. She knew the cause.

While she was cleaning the whiteboard after her class ended last night, the fire alarm went off. Instead of leaving the building immediately, she walked around to see what the problem was. The blaring alarm sounded like the busy signal on a phone, but 1,000 times louder. The school seemed to be empty. Then she walked by one room, and saw about seven students inside.

Just then the night supervisor came by. She told everyone to leave immediately. The students were packing their hair-care equipment into their bags. The night supervisor waited impatiently. Finally, after almost five minutes, all the students and their teacher left the building. They apologized for being so slow.

The firemen never arrived. Instead, a school police officer showed up. He walked around the area with the supervisor. It was a false alarm. The officer used his key to finally turn off the alarm.

But it was too late for Jennifer. She had listened to the loud alarm for too long. She should have known better. Even as she drove home, her ears felt strange.


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