The Immortal Flower

Story by Judy Winters

Visiting the graves of loved ones on All Souls Day is one of my family's long-standing traditions. As one might expect, the trip is usually a somber and uninteresting one. There was one exception, however. During one visit, I crossed path with a middle-aged couple who left me with quite an impression. There was nothing peculiar about the couple except for the fact they were carrying what appeared to me, at the time, as plastic flowers.

I know I should not have done this, but the first thing that crossed my mind was how stingy the couple was. Real flowers can be downright expensive, but it just did not seem right to offer fake flowers to the dead. It turned out I was wrong. The couple's flowers were actually real flowers. But before you start criticizing me for my rush to judgment, you should know that the flowers look and feel like plastic flowers. The only thing that distinguishes this strange flower from the plastic ones is the smell; the flower smells like rotten corpse (at least to me). 

The name of the flower is Immotet or the Immortal Flower. Staying true to its name, the Immotet is known to last a very long time even in cut form. According to one legend, the flower can last an eternity if properly cared for. I actually attempted to validate the legend with the Immotets I bought. Unfortunately, the flowers mysteriously ended up in the trash container less than a week later. This must be the work of somebody in my household, who probably was not a fan of the smell.

The experience offers a good life lesson. I bet that it is the wish of many of you to be like plastic flowers, living a long and worry-free life. The trade-off is that you would have to live a dull and uninteresting life. I would rather be a glorious phyllocactus that lasts for just one night than a plastic flower that lasts for almost eternity.