One by one, the folks Marius knew were gone.
In the year of never-spring, there were no requiem masses. No funerals. Almost no obituaries, at least not the sort printed in newspapers. Most people just disappeared.
So Marius improvised.
He planted a hollyhock for George, tall and strong, with just a bit of flamboyance. A daffodil for Daniella, whose smile once brightened the day of all who knew her. What else but a rose for Rose, the baker? Simple she was, and beautiful, and a surprise when her Latvian countenance blossomed into laughter.
When at last the virus came for Marius, when his breathing grew labored, when the coughing began, he wondered what floral eulogy he ought to write for himself.
He used his last breath, weak and whistling, to blow the dreamlike seeds of a dandelion. And with that, he lived forever.
Dana Serea is a senior at Rutherford High School in Rutherford, NJ. She loves competitive swimming and writing. Her work has been published in Canvas Literary Journal, Lunch Ticket, Bluefire, and in the Poetry Society of Virginia anthology. She is the winner of a Scholastic Art & Writing National Gold Medal, as well as a Gold Key winner for the state of New Jersey 3 years in a row. She won the 1st place in the 2020 Renee Duke Youth Award Poetry Contest for Human Rights, the 1st place in the 2020 Ringling College for Art and Design “Storytellers of Tomorrow” Writing Contest for a short story, as well as several third places and honorable mentions in national contests for her poetry and prose.