Four-letter Words

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!


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Stephanie Ayers

Executive Creative Director at Our Write Side/OWS Ink, LLC
A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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112 thoughts on “Four-letter Words”

  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.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  2. Brett Myers says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      It’s nice to see you here again, Brett. Thank you for the compliment on my growth as a writer.

  3. stankmeaner says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Or maybe both?

  4. Eric Storch says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thanks, Eric.

  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 πŸ˜›

    1. SAM says:

      LOL. They were embracing. πŸ˜‰

  6. Carrie says:

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

    Perhaps she sees him as a project.

    1. SAM says:

      Perhaps. Who said they were traveling?

      1. Carrie says:

        good point πŸ™‚

        1. SAM says:


  7. Karen says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you! Welcome to my Write side. I’m so happy to meet you.

  8. Stacey (@Staceysmoments) says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thanks, Stacey.

  9. servilia1 says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Art? Now there’s a compliment! Thanks!

  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.

    1. SAM says:

      Never thought of writing more. Maybe someday. Thank you for commenting.

  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

    1. SAM says:

      I’m glad you did, too. Thanks for reading.

  13. Feit Can Write says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you

  14. Melissa Barlow (@mcbarlow36) says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  15. neenslewy says:

    Liked this – a ‘flash’ of inspiration!

    1. SAM says:


  16. buffalostarmedicine says:

    ouuuuu, like the twist there at the end…

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you!

  17. Pingback: Freshly Riffed 19: Banana Cream Pie, Wanted Dead Or Alive « A VERY STRANGE PLACE
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  19. cambriascorner says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  20. andy1076 says:

    Love it! It’s no wonder you are on fresh pressed twice πŸ™‚

    1. SAM says:


      1. andy1076 says:

        oh nvm sorry it’s showing dpchallenge three times and one of them is yours πŸ™‚ my bad!

        1. SAM says:

          It’s all good. Glad you stopped in!

          1. andy1076 says:

            My pleasure! enjoyed your post πŸ™‚

          2. SAM says:


  21. thechancepassenger says:

    Great read. Simple but amazing!

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  22. supriya says:

    Sweet & simple πŸ™‚

    Not Alone

  23. 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 πŸ™‚
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you and I “love” your comment. Four letter words are fun to say. πŸ˜‰

      1. Ritu KT says:


  24. thefabjessgoing says:

    What a fascinating little story! Your use of repetition was really effective. I really enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

    1. SAM says:

      Thanks! Your comment means a lot to me.

  25. 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?

    1. SAM says:

      Oh I don’t think momma is right at all.

  26. ETrade Supply says:

    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?

    1. SAM says:

      depends on what it is she told you to do or not to do.

  27. 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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you, seriously.

  28. Let's Get The Beat! says:

    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 ^^

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you!

  29. sociopathicuttlefish says:

    Fantastic little piece of writing. Really quite something; you’re very talented. πŸ™‚

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you. It means a lot to me that you took the time to leave a comment.

      1. sociopathicuttlefish says:

        Your very welcome πŸ™‚

  30. gipsika says:

    YOW! Sinister!

    1. SAM says:


  31. cheerupitsraining says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Oh that’s intriguing.

  32. Scribbler says:

    Wonderfully written!

    Adieu, scribbler

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  33. Neetika says:

    Fabulous piece of work πŸ™‚ The opening lines just drew me in.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  34. beverlyq says:

    You write as a man so effortlessly!

    1. SAM says:

      Oh wow! Thank you!! That’s such a nice compliment.

  35. aimeekj says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you. I appreciate your comment and the compliment. πŸ™‚

  36. MoMabie says:

    Honesty and vulnerability. Two of my favorties. Bravo.

    1. SAM says:


  37. The Epistolarian says:

    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!

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you for the honest feedback. I hope to see you at the Scriptic challenge!

  38. 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 πŸ™‚


    1. SAM says:

      Thanks! Perhaps I was a man in a former life. πŸ˜‰

  39. Pingback: The Better Man Project | SociopathiCuttlefish
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  41. albeindc says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you so much. Hmmm. Your handle suggests you are in DC. Is that true?

      1. albeindc says:

        I am in the DC area yes

        1. SAM says:

          Cool. I’m a little south of you in Virginia.

  42. Ayodeji Lancaster says:

    Beautiful I must say. An excellent piece.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  43. Tonia Lowry says:


    1. SAM says:


  44. kaenna23 says:

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

    1. 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.

  45. honestlymodest says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      “love” the word play. Thanks for the compliment and for stopping in.

  46. 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”.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you for your generous compliments. I took care of the extra comments, so no worries.

  47. 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.

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate what you said.

  48. 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?

    1. 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.

      1. tua1992 says:

        Yes, I missed the other four-letter words we are not allowed to use while growing up. They are overused, as well. Thanks btw πŸ™‚

        1. SAM says:

          Thank you!

  49. tua1992 says:

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

  50. Mirror MUSES says:

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

    1. SAM says:

      Thank you.

  51. Angelia Sims says:

    Look at you! Freshly pressed. I told you, I’d say, I knew you when. πŸ™‚

    1. SAM says:

      you will get a signed copy of my first book for free. You know that right?

  52. panoramaofthoughts says:

    picture made well use of indeed!

    1. SAM says:


  53. Bryan says:

    It’s not a train. It’s a tram

    1. SAM says:

      In the picture, yes. For my story, it was a train.

  54. Coach Muller says:

    Good stuff!

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