The Descendants

March 24, 2008
By Holly Nash, White, GA

I sat under the apple tree listening to a distant bird chirp. The sun warmed my face as the tranquility was shattered. Leaves rustled as Vincentio ripped two ripened red apples from their branches. He sank down beside me, asking, “ My dear Josaline, what have you planned for today?”

I rolled my eyes, taking an apple and biting into it. Swallowing, I answered, “ My father’s holding a party for All Hallows Eve. It’s a costume party.” He smiled and inquired, “ Will the Capulets be invited to this Montague masquerade?” I blushed as I answered, “ Yes. You received the invitation five days ago; your mother probably didn’t want to tell you about your costume.”

His booming laugh caused me to jump, and several birds flew out of the tree. After he quieted, he asked, “ So what will my lady be wearing?” I furrowed my brow as I said, “ I don’t know. Mother made something for the occasion, but she won’t show me.”

“ Well, we know you’ll look beautiful no matter what.” I felt a blush creep into my cheeks, so I looked away. He turned my face so I couldn’t do anything but look into his eyes. “ Josaline, where should we meet after the party?”

I pulled away and whispered, “ Again, I don’t know. I do know one thing, though. I will soon be older than the suitable age for marriage, so father is looking for men to marry me. If we want to be together, you’ve got to come forth and ask him.” He gulped; he knew I was right.

I smiled; deciding now was the best time to tell him my plan. “ So, you want to do something fun tonight?” He nodded. I took a deep breath.

“ You remember the stories that were passed down from my great-great grandfather Benvolio and your great-great grandmother Rosaline?” He nodded. “ Well, I think we should go to Juliet and Romeo’s tomb. I’ve found a spell that supposedly brings people back to life, but it only works at midnight on All Hallows Eve.” His eyes were wide with curiosity. “ You know we could get executed for witchcraft if we’re caught, right?”

I got really close to his face as I peaked up through my eyelashes. I whispered, “ So let’s not get caught.” I touched my lips to his quickly; I then jumped up and ran away. I heard him yell as I ran down the hill, “ I’ll meet you there five minutes before the clock strikes twelve!” I smiled.

“ Josaline! Josaline!!!” I gathered my skirt as I ran up the stairwell to my room. “Nurse Angelina, why do you call so frantically?” She hurried me to the middle of the room, ignoring my question. Only then did I notice Mother sitting in my armchair.

“ Josaline Montague, why is your face so flushed?” I smiled at Angelina and Mother as I said, “ I was just under the apple tree on the hill.” Mother smiled as she asked, “ Were you with Vincentio?” I smiled again. Mother smiled and stated, “ He’s a fine man.”

“ I know.” Angelina huffed and asked coarsely, “ Do you want to wear your dress to the party?” I bit my lip and nodded.

When she was finished, she slid a mask on my face and made me close my eyes. She guided me over to the mirror, and when I opened my eyes I gasped.

The dress was a silver and blue; two small butterfly wings showed in the back. My mask was crafted delicately of a blue and silver butterfly. I smiled and stated exuberantly, “ Thank you!”

Nurse Angelina laughed and said, “ Wait until your suitor gets a look at you.”

Vincentio and I danced at the party. In fact, I only danced with Vincentio. We said goodnight as if nothing was out of the ordinary at eleven. Nurse wanted to help me get out of my clothes so she could gossip, no doubt. I told her no; I told her that I was exhausted and needed sleep.

As soon as I heard her footsteps disappear, I reached for the rope ladder under my bed. This ladder was the very same one that Romeo climbed up for their honeymoon forty-seven years ago. I had also used this very ladder many times in order to see Vincentio. Changing into a normal dress, I headed for the window. I then climbed out, heading for the tomb.

When I got to the tomb, Vincentio had already moved the tomb top aside. He was peering in the tomb. My heel clicked on the floor; his head shot up like a rocket, and he happily bounded over to me. “ Guess what? While you were saying goodbyes to guests, I asked your father if I could marry you. He said yes! The wedding’s to be in two weeks!”

I squealed as he rose me up in the air and twirled me around. Then, we remembered why we were here. He held my hand as he walked over to the tomb. There were sheets around nothing but disintegrating bones.

“ Vincentio, why are there three people in there?” He pointed to each one as he said their names, “ Romeo, Juliet, and Tybalt. You need to be careful with which one you bring back. We want to bring back the couple; we want to talk to them.”

Gee – no pressure there. I closed my eyes and recited an incantation; the room went silent. I opened my eyes as I watched one sheet rise, and a person sat up. Thank goodness Romeo sat up. He looked at Juliet’s place, obviously having a flashback. “Oh, no. I’ve been through this before. I was dead, what happened?” Then, as he talked, another rose from the sheets. There formed Juliet. She looked at Romeo. “ Do my eyes deceive me? I thought thee to be dead?”

We watched as the two lovers kissed, happy to be reconciled. Vincentio cleared his throat; both heads shot towards us. Romeo asked, “ Who are you?” Vincentio was rendered speechless. I spoke, “ You’ve been dead for forty-seven years. I’m the great-great granddaughter of Benvolio Montague; Vincentio is the great-great grandson of Rosaline Capulet. We wanted to see the people who stopped the family feud. The families are great friends now.”

Juliet asked, “ How can this be? How did you give us the gift of life again?” I smiled and stated, “ With a spell. We just wanted to meet you.” Vincentio finally spoke, “So, we’re family. Today’s been a very happy day. Josaline and I are getting married.” Romeo gave a sorrowful smile as he said, “ We got married too; times were different then. We had to marry secretly. If we had of been less impulsive, we might have lived then. We thank you greatly. You’ve given us our second chance.”

I smiled at Romeo and said, “ What are you going to do, though. People will be suspicious if you call yourselves Romeo and Juliet Montague.” Vincentio said, “ They can’t stay in the town of Verona; there are golden statues of them in the center of town. They look exactly alike.”

Romeo nodded, and said, “ Juliet, we’ll go to Mantua. Thank you kinsman. We’ll go now if you have no more questions.” I nodded and said, “ Have a merry second life.”
They smiled as they walked out of the tomb and into the night.

Vincentio and I sat on the edge of the tomb, and I laid my head on his chest. “Well, that was interesting.” I nodded my head in agreement. I don’t know how long we sat there, but soon light was coming into the monument. He grasped my hand and we walked to the entrance, but a ruffling sound caused me to stop in my tracks. I turned around circumspectly. A man was standing in the grave; his face was masked by shadows. He stepped out into the light. The man was…Tybalt.

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