Careful What You Wish For (Popeye’s Pain)

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March 21, 2021 by The Citron Review

by Heather Bourbeau


All I wanted were some greens. It seemed an innocuous request; one that most coastal establishments would satisfy handily in salads, sides, or even lovingly cleansed, then brutally mashed into smoothies that looked better than they tasted (but that we drank with the righteous knowledge that they made us glowing wonders of the world). I should have stuck with the ocean states. I should’ve stuck with lovely, languid Ginger. But I was foolhardy, had landlust. And so I’m in Toledo with sweet, svelte Olive; a metallic aftertaste of canned vegetables; and forearms (once pleasing, proportional) that now resemble Schwarzenegger’s thighs. 


Heather Bourbeau’s work has appeared or will appear in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, The MacGuffin, Meridian, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is the winner of La Piccioletta Barca’s inaugural competition and the Chapman Magazine Flash Fiction winner, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A collection of her 100-word stories will be coming out from The Fabulist Press later this year. 


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