Welp, here goes.
“Hey, uh, guys…?” asked Lucy, triggering the three students to turn their heads toward her, but she was not looking back at them. Her eyes were fixated on something else.
In response, Lilly shot her head round to look where Alistair was standing. The other two made similar movements. Their eyes confirmed what the girl had said. The runner-up was gone.
There was a slight pause. Lilly’s eyes widened as she registered the occurrence.
Lilly didn’t have anything better to ask. She knew that she wanted to understand what was happening, but she could only muster up a useless four letter word. She was processing too much at once. The disturbing vision she had seen was taking up the majority of her mental capacity, and now Alistair had disappeared. Also, there was a surreal black mark on her arm. She still had guilt from yelling at her closest friend. And on top of that, she was still feeling the joy and nerves from winning the tournament, which only happened about 5 minutes ago. Her throat began to feel a bit crowded and heavy. The uneasiness of the almost-forgotten nerves took centre stage, disallowing the girl complete control over her body. She felt cold and shivery and hot and sweaty all at the same time. She pressed her eyelids closed and tight, as she gently took her left hand and rubbed her own head from front to back, letting her blonde hair fill up the gaps in her fingers with each stroke. Then with both arms she placed the palms of her left and right hand onto each respective eye socket, then slowly extended out the fingers while moving each hand around the head until they stopped with the left and right thumb above its corresponding ear. While this happened, her eyes opened too, staring once again at the place where there should have been a 19-year old boy in a black and silver jacket.
And then the lights seemed to get brighter. They hadn’t actually changed, but a much-needed feeling of normality returned to the arena. The audience had resumed motion. And in doing so, they continued the loud cheers and whistles that came with it. To the four students standing just less than ten metres away from the entrance, it was unbearable.
Mario looked at Lilly, raised his eyebrows, and then shrugged his shoulders – a proposition to just go with the situation for now. Approving, the girl took a breath, and then began to pretend. She walked forwards, waving to the audience with a great fake smile on her face. She bowed and curtsied multiple times, each one lasting long enough to allow her to briefly stop with the stupid grin as she hid her face from the intolerable crowd. She then waved one last time as she re-joined and walked out of the arena with her friends.
As they walked down the corridor, they could hear the fading voice of Mr Grayson being projected around the arena, announcing the official end to the tournament. The sun was still shimmering down gently through the windows and the warmth of the corridor was welcomed by the four of them. They decided not to talk. They all knew it was too demanding to have a conversation. Lilly noticed the door to the bathroom she had used just a moment ago, and uncontrollably laughed softly to herself about the range of emotions she had been – and still is – experiencing.
Before reaching the end of the corridor, Mario sped ahead of the others for a short while before stopping. He turned to his right and walked towards the window. He raised his right arm in front of his face and touched the window with his hand. A green holographic circle appeared around his hand, then separated into two and glided away in opposite directions. Following this, a large, vertical rectangle of the glass that spanned the floor and ceiling pushed outwards, and then slid to the left. By the time this process had completed, the other three duellists had caught up to Mario. One by one, they walked out of this door towards a set of trees; the door closing automatically behind them. The fresh air felt great.