The day is long, hot, tense. An extended ellipsis, trailing into the distance with nothing following.
They spend their day like that. Trance-like, drifting pointlessly, unseeing, circling the abyss. No-one wants to talk. They sit together in a tight huddle in the shade of a tree, the thick canopy sheltering them from the beating sun.
The atmosphere is stultifying. Books are balanced on knees and hands, headphones buzz like artificial insects. They all stare at the ground, or the sky, or the tree. Not at each other. No-one wants to look at one another, to face up to the reality of what’s happened.
Food is brought out to them, and drinks, all through the day. The manager comes over at one point. Starts waving his hands and apologising and explaining and reassuring, but the oppressive silence beats him down. He slouches away, looking back over his shoulder at the group of white girls who won’t even acknowledge that he’s there.
Some of them try to nap. They lie there, eyes closed, willing themselves to sleep and climbing further and further away from it. None of them leave the circle.
The trees rise around the clearing, tall and looming, the depth of untamed jungle mere metres away. No-one looks at it.