Four-letter Words

Four-letter Words

January 29, 2013 Writing 112

Photo courtesy of Cheri Lucas.

She said she loved the train. In the next breath, she said she loved me. Odd that we were on the wrong side of the train to catch it. If she really loved the train, she would have made sure we were on the right side, but we weren’t.

Look. I’m getting repetitious already.

She had that effect on me. Momma always said to be careful with the four-letter words. Use them to make an impact she would say. Corrine used four-letter words a lot.

I don’t think she always meant them.

Momma would say she was bad but I couldn’t help having feelings for her. She was pretty, though some might say she was a bit on the plain side. Besides her bad habit of using four-letter words, she was nice enough. She liked helping other people. She’d helped that old couple by the train get across the tracks.

She said she loved the train.

Why didn’t she stay on the right side to catch it? Why were we standing here on the slippery cobblestone embracing? Didn’t she realize her weight pulled me forward, making balance quite the task?


She loved the train. She loved me. Which is true, which is false? Are neither true? Could both be false? Momma always said to be careful with four-letter words. Use them to make an impact, she would say. Corrine used four-letter words a lot.

I don’t think she always meant them.

Momma says people who waste four-letter words are bad. Not worth the ground they walk on, she would say. The ground was so slick.

Letting go was the easy part.


For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Michael gave me this prompt: “People say they love a lot of things, but they really don’t. It’s just a word that’s been overused.” -Bob Dylan

I gave Katri this prompt: headache, shoes, season, an hour, and a garden.

I am also linking this up to wordpress’s weekly writing prompt. This week we were given the picture above as our inspiration.

As always I welcome honest feedback. Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!



112 Responses

  1. Diane Turner says:

    You did a fabulous job of depicting his angst about her feelings. I could feel his questions, his uncertainty. Excellent writing.

  2. Brett Myers says:

    It has been a while. You are getting good. Very good. 😀 What you put out and what you held back made it fun and interesting to think about. Very nice, SAM…

  3. stankmeaner says:

    I liked that I couldn’t quite figure if he physically or emotionally let her go…

  4. Eric Storch says:

    I “love” your alternate take on the meaning of “4-letter words.” Well done.

  5. lexy3587 says:

    I liked the repetition… and the preoccupation with “Momma”, though maybe mid-makeout isn’t the time for that kind of thought 😛

  6. Carrie says:

    He doesn’t quite sound like the kind of guy I’d picture traveling to little known European hamlets 😉 A bit of a homebody, a momma’s boy of sorts. Simple

    Perhaps she sees him as a project.

  7. Karen says:

    Very nice. I read a lot of the prompt responses and this was refreshing (and diabolical). Really, really good.

  8. It was very intriguing to me trying to figure out what his feelings were. He seemed very conflicted. Great job!

  9. servilia1 says:

    I really enjoyed this, there was a sense of mystery behind it, and interpretation. Art.

  10. ottomandandy says:

    Very romantik .

  11. Beyond Back Creek says:

    I want more! This is a great opening for a novel. I feel like something creepy will happen next.

  12. kareemssalam says:

    really love this, im kind of new to wordpress and kind of stumbled on this by accident but im glad i did

  13. I enjoyed the spin you put on this. My version focused on somebody in the background dealing with a different set of issues:

  14. Congrats! I’m a little freaked out now…great post!

  15. neenslewy says:

    Liked this – a ‘flash’ of inspiration!

  16. ouuuuu, like the twist there at the end…

  17. Phenomenal idea and writing! Great post, I very much enjoyed reading it!

  18. andy1076 says:

    Love it! It’s no wonder you are on fresh pressed twice 🙂

  19. Great read. Simple but amazing!

  20. supriya says:

    Sweet & simple 🙂

    Not Alone

  21. Ritu KT says:

    Great writing. I ‘love’ the train too and I ‘love’ your story. I ‘mean’ it. I guess I use four letter words a lot too 🙂
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

  22. What a fascinating little story! Your use of repetition was really effective. I really enjoyed it. 🙂

  23. segmation says:

    Momma says people who waste four-letter words are bad. Not worth the ground they walk on, she would say. The ground was so slick. Momma isn’t always right, right?

  24. My mom always said what I should or should not do, well I will say yes to her minds, but doing on the “no” side. Finally, my mother had no idea on me! Should I feel lucky to get rid of mom’s protection or not?

  25. mihirkamat says:

    This is a beautiful piece, made me want to jump right in! Thank you for posting – and congrats on being freshly pressed!

    – Mihir

  26. I love it how you use the term “four letter words” instead of ‘love’. Less then three the storyline as well. Congrats for being freshly pressed ^^

  27. Fantastic little piece of writing. Really quite something; you’re very talented. 🙂

  28. gipsika says:

    YOW! Sinister!

  29. Awesome monologue. I would like to see it performed on stage! Well done.

  30. Scribbler says:

    Wonderfully written!

    Adieu, scribbler

  31. Neetika says:

    Fabulous piece of work 🙂 The opening lines just drew me in.

  32. beverlyq says:

    You write as a man so effortlessly!

  33. aimeekj says:

    I love this type of writing, it is really beautiful. Very well done (:

  34. MoMabie says:

    Honesty and vulnerability. Two of my favorties. Bravo.

  35. Love the play btw the 4 letter words concepts. Also love the male perspective. The only aspect that seemed contrived was the “Why isn’t she on the right side to catch the train?”… it doesn’t lay naturally with the rest of the situation. I mean that as constructive criticism, not standing judgement. I LOVE the prompts… I’ll need to look into Scriptic and the weekly writing prompt (even if it’s just for my own personal writing log and not a post or anything). Thanks!

  36. ohtallulah says:

    How wonderful to hear such a convincing male perspective. I haven’t dared attempt this but you do it so well! Great work 🙂


  37. albeindc says:

    Poignant little piece here, and I liked the use of repetition (hardly see that anymore). Definitely could be used in a shortfilm.

  38. Beautiful I must say. An excellent piece.

  39. Tonia Lowry says:


  40. kaenna23 says:

    Reblogged this on Living the Life I Imagined and commented:
    i “love” it!

    • SAM says:

      Thank for liking it enough to reblog it. I’ma bit touchy about reblogging (not a fan). I love that you think my work is worth sharing, I’d just prefer to be asked next time, please? Thanks.:) Thanks for stopping in and taking time to leave me a comment.

  41. I “love” it! You are very talented. Congrats on being freshly pressed!

  42. kcald says:

    This post is really beautiful. You wrote almost poetically and utilized repetition, which I loved. Your mom seems like a wise woman, we all need to be careful with our “four letter words”.

  43. elkemurphy says:

    Thank you for this well written story. I like that you describe the awkwardness of getting off balance while embracing – I have never heard anyone talk about this before.

  44. tua1992 says:

    I don’t know where you heard that from but honestly my mother actually always told me to be careful with the “four-letter words”- love or hate. And today when I look at all the young people who just started going out together, using the words “love you” over frequently, the words seem to lose their meaning and significance. I would really like to reblog this and also share it on twitter. Can I, if it’s ok with you?

    • SAM says:

      Love/hate weren’t included in the list of 4 letter words we weren’t allowed to say growing up, but they are, in fact, 4 letter words, and they are both overused.. I would love if you tweeted the link to my story, and since you were kind enough to ask about rebloggiing, I’m okay with that too. Thank you for enjoying my story so much you want to share it.

  45. tua1992 says:

    Reblogged this on 1992 and commented:
    I don’t have to say much here. The three-word title says more than enough.

  46. Mirror MUSES says:

    Wow! I love that. Definitely Freshly Pressed worthy. Congrats!

  47. Angelia Sims says:

    Look at you! Freshly pressed. I told you, I’d say, I knew you when. 🙂

  48. picture made well use of indeed!

  49. Bryan says:

    It’s not a train. It’s a tram

  50. Coach Muller says:

    Good stuff!

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