The full moon feast was over at the Temple, and the celebrants had all taken their pot-luck dishes and gone home. The altar area, ornately festooned with incense burners, statues, wall-hangings, bells, gongs and other brass items, was still charged with the energy from the evening's chanting. An elderly priest with a shaved head in an orange robe and wide red sash placed the mirror, jewel side out, in the lap of a seated Buddha. Mary's parents strung colorful Tibetan prayer flags all along the low rail separating the altar area from the rows of chairs. Behind them, their sons sat listlessly. A few other friends and family took seats around them.
At the back of the room Vicki and Henry watched as the priest re-lit the candles and incense and began more low chanting. The Tibetan couple knelt on a rug near the altar and lifted spindle-held cylinders which they spun like rolling pins in their hands.
"What are they doing?" Vicki asked Henry, nodding toward Mary's parents.
"Prayers for a good reincarnation for the murdered men. Trying to make amends. They're not the first to do evil things out of love."
"Is there no way they can get their sons back? I mean—"
"Their souls? Vicki, no, don't even think it. Their sons are in a better place." Henry fingered the rosary he often wore at his wrist.
"You don't believe in reincarnation."
Vicki shrugged. "What do I know? I used to think I knew how things worked, but then I met a vampire."
Henry showed her his perfect teeth. "It doesn't mean everything you know is wrong, it just means there are even more things in Heaven and Earth . . ."
They both watched in silence for a while, as the hypnotic chanting and tinny sounds of small bells swelled.
Vicki said, "I can't believe you pulled Friar Lawrence's potion out of the air and got away with it."
Henry looked at her. "Juliet drank that so she could leave everything she knew and be united with the only thing that mattered. She woke up alone in a tomb, too."
"I do know the story," Vicki said dryly. "And I looked it up. Friar Lawrence never says what was in that drink."
"No? Well, it didn't make it into the First Folio, then. He said it in the performance I saw."
"Well, when Mohadevan notices it's not in there, you can explain that to her."