Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

<< Previous next >>
25 October 2015


Have you ever been awakened in the middle of the night by a smoke alarm with low batteries? These alarm devices, along with car alarms and similar systems, are designed to give unimpeded warning because the risk outweighs the inconvenience. However, in “Alarm”, a society where technology has rendered injuries extremely uncommon has pushed safety technologies to unreasonable lengths to eliminate the few remaining instances of harm.

The short story consists of a man evacuated from his home in the early morning due to a malfunctioning fire alarm system in his smart house. He suffers a string of unfortunate, and somewhat hilarious, events including a completely unnecessary ambulance bill, finally transiting to work from the hospital, sore and sleep-deprived. Hopefully, his situation bears no similitude to reality. However, at what point does the inconvenience of a malfunction outweigh the benefit of an alarm system? If the system which caused this Mr. Hamilton such grief saved even one life, would it not be justifiable?

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015