It was just supposed to be a walk.
That was it. A small, 30-minute walk to clear his head. It was a brisk, sunny afternoon, not even that cold for late November. At the time, Shuichi was stuck on a tricky question, something about equations and graphs and all sorts of math that he'd never been particularly good at. The sun was still out, so Shuichi decided to take a quick walk. There was a path in his backyard, a small, rarely travelled one, but Shuichi figured it was safe.
Well, knowing that the path was "safe" didn't stop him from getting lost.
When the sun set, Shuichi MUST have gotten turned around somehow. He had stepped off the path at a fork in the road, jist to get his bearings, but he had realized he chose the wrong one a bit too late. The path he should have taken was a circle back to his backyard. This one was a path he didn't know anything about. To make things even worse, thick clouds had quickly covered up the sky as the moon rose, not even allowing a bit of light to show. And, to rub in the fact that Shuichi had made a very stupid mistake, the temperture had dropped 20 degrees in about 2 minutes. Now, as Shuichi tried to manuver his way through the pitch black forest, every breath he took became a small cloud that hung in front of his face.
A chill had set in the detective's bones, reminding him that he should have worn a thicker coat. He pulled the small, navy sweater close to him and rubbed his hands together, to warm them up, but they were still almost bone-white, and locking up. It hurt to move his fingers. He could barely see an inch in front of his face, it was so dark out. He hadn't even brought a flashlight. Wait... flashlight! His phone! Shuichi reached into his pocket, dug around with his aching hands, and... nothing. Rummaging around into his sweater pockets, he also found nothing. Suppressing a frustrated scream, Shuichi realized how in danger he really was. He was alone, lost in the woods, risking frostbite. His uncle wasn't coming home until later tonight. It was already cold enough, and there was nothing stopping it from getting even colder. He could freeze to death tonight and no one would know where he was until it was far too late. Shuichi gulped. 'That's it. You're at an absolute low point. Things couldn't get any worse...' Despairing thoughts began to fill up Shuichi's head as he turned around and tried to go back the way that he came from.
Well, going back didn't help either. An hour had passed, and now Shuichi was even MORE lost. The path had disappeared about 5 minutes into his walk back, replaced by mossy ground and crumbling leaves. Eyelids heavy, legs weak and shaky, Shuichi could have passed out right then and there as he stared at the ground...but a beam of moonlight shone across his face like a dagger, right into his eyes. Pulling his hat up, Shuichi gazed up at the sky, and saw a tiny glimpse of the sky, filled with stars and a full, shining moon. Wait a second. Confusion filling his hazy brain, Shuichi looked at the trees surrounding him, which all had seemed to go through a very quick, spontaneous growth spurt. They towered above him like moss-covered monolithes, even more so then they already did, and besides, where'd that thick blanket of clouds go? How far did he walk? There was no use in retracing his steps...
It seemed that bizarrely enough, Shuichi had wandered into an area of the woods that few ever got to see. Shuichi pulled his little sweater ever-tighter around himself. He felt so... tiny and weak, compared to the massive trees that casted shadows over him. Just then, he felt the earth tremble. Shaken, Shuichi tripped and fell to the ground, scraping his knee on a rock. He stood up, legs quivering with fear. What was that sound? Footsteps? The beating of his own heart, which was getting louder every second? Whatever it was, it created shockwaves, making it harder to stand, much less move. Shuichi tried to move his limbs to get farther away from whatever the hell was making those footsteps, but he stumbled, over a tree root. He fell to the ground again, and as an enormous humanoid shadow fell upon him, Shuichi darted behind a tree to hide.
"Hello? Hey, tiny guy! I already saw ya, no need to hide! You can come out now, I promise."
Oh my god. Shuichi covered his mouth as he pulled his legs closer to his torso, curling into a tiny ball. That voice sounded like thunder with words. More gigantic footsteps shook Shuichi to his core. Shaking and sweating as tears flowed to his eyes, Shuichi realized he was on the edge of a panic attack, although he couldn't tell if he was on the edge of finishing one or if the real fear was just beginning. Almost unable to stop himself, Shuichi lifted himself up and RAN, ran as far as he could, breathing heavy and quick, and.... then proceeded to catch his foot on a rock, sending him flying down into a hole. A noise, sharp, like a gunshot, rang into his ears as he hit a rock, and the last thing Shuichi heard before he drifted into unconsciousness were those footsteps getting closer...