cool black electric hum


By Doug Elwell

Doug tells me, “this was inspired by a vivid dream the other night…In a departure from my usual p-o-v, I wrote it in the second person following your earlier lead with your Italy stories.”


You won’t see a bright white light at the end of a tunnel leading toward the heavens.

You won’t see your mother or father or sister or anyone you ever knew.

You won’t see the little puppy you barely remember from your childhood.

You stand at the edge of a hole with no circumference or depth.

You look into it and see only black.

You feel no movement of air.

You feel black coolness as before an open un-lit refrigerator in the dark of night.

You feel the cool wrap around you like a cocoon.

You feel goosebumps.

You taste sharp cold metal as if you touched your tongue to a raw steel bar.

You look again into the blackness of the hole.

You hear a hollow, vaguely ominous electric hum enfold the coolness.

You know it is eternal. It has no beginning or end.

You feel a lifetime of regret.

You cannot step back.

You resist that last step into the precipice yet there is no choice—that last step.

You stare into the cool black. A hand gently nudges your shoulder.

You drift into the infinite cool black electric hum.

© 2017 Doug Elwell

Doug Elwell grew up on the prairie of rural east central Illinois. His stories feature the characters, lore, and culture of that region. He explores the depth and richness of the inner lives of its people and communities. He is an occasional contributor to The Australia Times. His work has also appeared in The Oakland Independent, Ignite Your Passion: Kindle Your Inner Spark, True Stories Well Told, Every Writer’s Resource, Writers Grapevine, Ruminate and Midwestern Gothic literary journal. He has a Kindle novel, Charlie, available from the War Writer’s Campaign at Proceeds from purchases go directly to the campaign, a non-profit that helps re-integrate veterans into society following their deployments. Doug can be contacted via email at:

I like the question Doug’s piece raises about the truth of dreams. What do you think?


About first person productions

My blog "True Stories Well Told" is a place for people who read and write about real life. I’ve been leading life writing groups since 2004. I teach, coach memoir writers 1:1, and help people publish and share their life stories.
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1 Response to cool black electric hum

  1. Donna Biddle says:

    Like your approach to a hard subject. Very good.

    Donna Biddle


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