Fiction List

Samples and excerpts from the book:
Life Will Get You in the End: Short stories by David Satterlee

Book: "Life Will Get You in the End:
Short Stories by David Satterlee
Buy paperback or Kindle eBook at Amazon
Buy paperback at Barnes and Noble

There is an entry, below, for almost every story or poem in the book. It includes:
  • The title,
  • A brief synopsis,
  • (where available) a link to a YouTube video of my telling the story, and
  • A link to the full story on this site for that individual piece. I hope that you will actively participate in commenting on what you read.
Please share your favorite stories with friends -- they get to score some pretty cool stories, and I really appreciate the extra exposure.

This is how much of modern direct-to-reader publishing and marketing is going to work. I depend on your good will and social contacts. I hope that we will end up considering each other to be friends. Thank you! DavidS

But first, a little praise for the author and the book

Portrait by
Ethan Ackerson (5 yrs.)
  • “[His writing is] humorous, bold, and adventurous all at once … channeled through a facility for language and the music of words.
  • Each story is short and sweet – or sometimes bittersweet – or just thought-provoking. You will often discover a surprise concluding twist that will "get you in the end," and make you want to read the story again. Mark your favorites and share them with friends.
  • The author's range is amazing. Very human stories explore the extremes of life, loss, and love. David gives a stream-of-thought treatment to a love story involving elder-care; he presents a tale of xenophobic bullying in precise "Dr. Seuss" cadences; he explores gender relations and writes love poems. His engineering background provides technical credibility that will delight fans of hard science fiction. Some stories are about grown-up issues.
  • David has a sly sense of humor that enjoys irony, bad puns, and tongue-in-cheek allusions. He introduces several iconic characters: Bobby is a bad boy; he is immature and usually gets it in the end, one way or another. Fergus Johnson explores gender relations; he is emotionally intelligent and usually knows how live with women.

You should know...

You should know that a few of these stories may not be for everyone. I occasionally take the liberty of using mild profanity, describing intimate situations, or introducing politically incorrect ideas. I can be a bit of a prude myself and, while I intend to be colorful and interesting, I do not intend to shock, offend, or arouse. I don’t believe that any of these stories are outside common community standards, but I thought that it should be mentioned up-front.

You will find a nurturing poem to read to a preschooler, several pieces on gender relations, and some science fiction. A lot of the stories are “flash fiction” with a twist — very short stories that deliberately lull you into a mood before dropping you on your head. Damn, that’s fun. I don’t know how to explain the piece on bullying that sounds like Dr. Seuss. 

Some characters are iconic. Don’t assume that Fergus Johnson is always the same guy trying to figure out the same woman, or that Bobby is always the same bad boy; he comes to too many unfortunate ends.

Okay, off you go. Have some fun. And, remember that life will get you in the end too.

Grandma's Precious Things

A Heartwarming poem in which a small child successfully negotiates for a visit to Grandma’s house and makes discoveries about him/her-self and about Grandma. Told in a regular lilting verse that your child will ask to have read to them again and again. [696 words]

YouTube Link (or just watch here)

Find this story at:

Going to see Jesse

This is an (almost completely) true story about old people in love. It is given a stream-of-consciousness treatment that reflects the tender tedium of elder care. It is only right to tell you up front that, by the end, they both die and that most early readers wanted to reach for a tissue and a good friend. [2549 words]
A young couple find that their life together is becoming predictable. Is that a bad thing? [754 words]

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Lust in the Morning

The tensions between happily married couples can boil over. Sometimes, you just have to ask, "Did I really say that out loud?" [432 words]

Starting a New Career

All he wanted to do was go to the bathroom without disturbing anybody. [771 words]

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Oceans of Love

Reader's theater for two male voices. A raw and hyper-verbal talk show host just won't let a serious gender-relations author explain his book. [717 words]

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Sample Time

A retired engineer just can't escape the frustration he feels with the casual imprecision of his former supervisors and his current nurse. Writing the story resolved my actual recurring dream. [1235 words]

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A Man of Letters

During World War II, a member of a railroad bridge crew must decide what to do with letters from a troop train. Based on a family story. [624 words]

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Colony Survey Review Report 

Science fiction. What if the development of humans, and our planet, was being intensely observed and regularly adjusted by aliens? What changes would be in our greatest common good? What would the progress report to senior managers look like?  [763 words]

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I.H.T.F.P. (I Have Truly Found Paradise)

Looking for the ideal place to live, our hero discovers that there is trouble in paradise. [1391 words]

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The Strange Kid

A story of bigotry and bullying told, disconcertingly, in a precise "Dr. Seuss" cadence. This was actually written several years before the 2012 mass-shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. [782 words]

Find this story/poem at:

Thank you for your hospitality

A  disturbing poem of the “police action” in Vietnam. Note: contains violence and some profanity. This is mean stuff for grownups. Even the ending line of every stanza shatters the cadence and rhyme of what came before. [421 words]

Find this poem at: 

The Nehushta Serpent

Reader's theater for two female voices. Guys, don't ever assume that it's okay to not be sweet to your wives and girlfriends. [689 words]

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The Fondue Plot

An obvious pun. Would an author deliberately set out to write an entire story around an obvious pun? It can be done, but karma will getcha every time. [1281 words]

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The Two Heros of Thompsonville

Another fable of conservative values. What happens if a culture takes the idea of naming kids after both of their parents and makes it a hard-and-fast tradition? [841 words]

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The Certain Rewards of Hard Work

My first wife used to claim that "No good deed goes unpunished." Maybe she was right. [495 words]

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The Hanging Offense

His wife has undertaken a new hobby and involved him in foraging for materials. What could be better than an activity that brings the whole family together? What happens when a patient, tolerant and supportive husband reaches his limit? [1141 words]

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An Object of Urgency

Nigel suddenly discovers that he is in possession an object that must be removed immediately from the cabin he shares with the old man. I'm really, mostly sorry about this one -- kinda. [622 words]

Find this story at:

 YouTube Link (or just watch here)

Taking a break from the short story form, we temporarily turn our minds to poetry, and...

Thoughts of Spring

Poem: A cross between Ogden Nash and... something else. You'll just have to buy the book. [61 words]

Haiku of the Earth

Too short to stuff into a marketing sandwich, so here it is. Don't miss it. 

Haiku of the Earth
The blossoms are full
The air is sweetened by rainNow let the earth sing

A Small Collection of Cinquains

My wife, Dianna, was teaching a unit on poetry to fifth-graders and thought that I should come and give them a talk on cinquains and limericks. I knew that I could do some real damage with limericks; but, cinquains? So, I started by looking up the word "cinquain." Boy, what a pro! [162 words]

Find these poems at 

A Small Collection of Limericks

The Lament of Solomon

Solomon, as you may remember, was a king of Israel and renowned for his proverbial (pun intended) wisdom. He is also the author of what may be the oddest book of The Holy Bible, "The Song of Solomon" - a love song.

Find this poem at:

Social Capital

A traveling sage, in the Mid-east of Biblical times makes a choice between building buildings and building relationships. [124 words]

Find this poem at:

And They Shall be as One

The kid just doesn't want to be alone, alright? [127 words]

Find this sad whine at:

"You Must Love Thy Neighbor” (The saints among us)

A little ditty about empathy and compassion. [78 words]

Find whatever it is at:

I’m gonna sit right down and write my love a letter…

How do I love you? Let me count the ways. Really. [323 words]

Find this consise enumeration at:

The title is sung to the tune of: "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" - a 1935 popular song with music by Fred E. Ahlert and lyrics by Joe Young. It has been recorded many times, and has become a standard of the Great American Songbook. It is one of several songs from the Harlem Renaissance featured in the Broadway musical Ain't Misbehavin'. - Wikipedia

You Are So Beautiful

A young man (still without a girlfriend) reminds himself that loveliness is more than skin-deep and must still be appreciated... even when beauty fades. I am told that he turned out pretty good and his idealism is still reasonably-well intact. [82 words]

Find this touching bit of optimism at:

The Art of Seeing

A young poet reflects of the fact that poetry doesn't always come right out and say what the poet is saying. (Woah, this could go all recursive if I'm not careful.) News flash: You gotta read between the lines. [106 words]

Find this statement of the obvious at:

Pogo Had it Right

This is an allusion to (at least, what should be) an iconic story in mythology about men doing battle with themselves. Pogo was a cartoon character created by Walt Kelly. Among many other wise and witty things, he said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." There, that should get you started. Not had enough? Try Now you're cookin'. [183 words]

Find this thoughtful musing at:

If You Were Alone

A young man offers his affections to whomever it is that he might, someday, marry. You need never be alone. Just sayin'. [49 words]

Find a coupon to redeem this offer at:

The Pledge

Our young man vows his eternal admiration, devotion and delight to whomever he might fall in love with. Yeah, you say that now... [129 words]

Find the warranty certificate at:

Gathering Courage

A decent proposal. Our intrepid (but insecure) fellow ponders the anxiety he may feel when it comes time to (someday) pop the question. [135 words]

Find this bit of angst at:

No Ifs About It

An indecent proposal. A young man practices proposing (to his sister's stuffed doll, from the sounds of it). He probably shouldn't try this one on a real girl. Birdies and puppies and fish, oh my!  [113 words]

Find it at:

Book: "Life Will Get You in the End:
Short Stories by David Satterlee

"And now, back to our 
And now, back to our
regularly-scheduled stories...

regularly-scheduled stories."

Mother’s Favorite Brownie Recipe

Mother bakes a pan of her family's favorite brownies... until something goes terribly wrong. You know you did it at least once. [211 words]

Find this story at:

Read by the author:
YouTube Link (or just watch here)

A Litterer Goes to Court

A little boy throws something out the school bus window and has to stand to account in Granny's court room. [697 words]

Find this story at:

Linda Takes a Shot at Marriage

Reading theater for two male voices. It's hard to love a girl with her own shotgun.
Note: Contains questionable regional dialect, immature mature dialog, descriptive violence, and mild profanity. Dang, when you put it that way, I just want to blush a little bit. [618 words]

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The One That Got Away

A young man decides to introduce himself to one of a cluster of girls. What could go wrong?
Wrong enough that the reader gets to choose from two endings. [703 words]
[Note: Contains mildly erotic descriptive imagery.]

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Touching Women

This title seems to get a lot of attention. It's really not as salacious as it might sound. But, have you ever wondered if some men actually have the ability to make a physiologic-psycho-social connection with women, just by touching them? Hum...  [884 words]

Find this story at:

Read by the author: Youtube link (or just watch here)

Being Depressed

Being depressed is not a job for wimps. A first-person stream-of-consciousness account. It's kind of depressing, actually. Those of you who have been there may want to avert your eyes. [537 words]

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The Ugly Baby

A liberal fable. Not everyone can be born to good looks, wealth or privilege. How should we think of the disadvantaged people we happen to see, knowing that their appearance, condition or status may not reflect their inner gifts or intrinsic worth? [1431 words]

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Being True to the Best of What You Are

You've probably heard one of several versions of the fable about an eagle that believes it's a chicken. Here is a new take on the subject from an Integrally-informed psycho-social perspective. We all should be so lucky. [943 words]

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Read by the author: YouTube Link (or just watch here)

Allen Porter: Dayton Cowboy Comes Full Circle

My home town has a Labor Day rodeo that dates back about 80 years. The story goes that a young boy started doing rope tricks for nickles down by the picnic grounds. Today, he is "the last of the real cowboys," and an iconic local hero. I had the rare privilege of interviewing the man and writing a feature article for the local newspaper. Here it is.  [1419 words]

Find this feature at:

A Marriage Made in Heaven

Learn to listen to your inner dragon.
Science fiction. This is a personal favorite that echos back to my time running big computers. The ship's systems had never had to be cold-booted since commissioning... until the chief engineer droped a wrench into the ship's central power buss. Oops. [1888 words]

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Everyone Takes a Test

Science fiction. A planetary visitor becomes the object of crude hostility while having dinner at a local tavern. Note: Contains a little crude dialogue. Our hero hesitates, but never blushes. He is up to the task, and we are proud of him. [1323 words]

Find this story at:

How to Build a Joke (No joking, I'm Serious.)

An essay, actually. Do you know why you laugh at shocking stuff that isn't funny? Comedians do - and it includes some brain physiology. Quotations include Phyllis Diller; what a hoot! [1441 words]

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Analysis of the Creative Process

A retired engineer comes to terms with typing his literary criticism papers himself. 
A creative student of literary analysis takes a break (from writing yet another lame-ass paper) to throw a private hissy-fit.  [244 words]

Find this hissy-fit at:

Tribal Family Values

The historical setting for this story springs from reading the book: 1421: The Year China Discovered AmericaIt also reflects research about tribalism, authoritarianism, and fundamentalism, which I describe in my book of essays: Chum For Thought: Throwing Ideas into Dangerous Waters. I think, when you read the last line, you will agree that the conclusion should have been obvious all along. After all, what's a tribe to do? [1319 words]

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