November 13th, 12:30am
"I don't want excuses! Brian, look over there. Opal, you try there."
"I'm freezing my nipples off here, Josh. Can't we just-"
"No, shut up, Bri, I don’t have time for this. If she gets away with that ring, we'll all screwed. Now hurry up! I want that little bitch found!"
"Alright, fine, geez."
The two teenagers did as instructed, casting their flashlights through the darkness and across layer upon layer of wet grass and fallen leaves. Rain was spitting down on them, and it was already beginning to pool into puddles and soak their clothes to the bone. It seemed that the weather was just as bitter as their friend Josh, who was pacing back and forth, checking his phone and cursing under his breath. If they didn't get the ring back, they could be in deep trouble. The three teens already looked suspicious enough as they snooped around in the middle of the night, searching for someone in the seemingly abandoned park. If the area wasn't devoid of any human life besides the three of them, one would wonder who they could possibly be looking for.
As a matter of fact, the person they were looking for was currently running beneath Brian's legs.
The jungle of grass seemed to grab and snare at the tiny intruder as she darted her way through the blades. She moved with the agility of a frightened animal, dodging and soldiering through the bombardment of raindrops slamming down on her from the sky. If there was a logical multi-stage escape routine planned at some point, she had since abandoned it in favor of blind panic. Given how she could barely see anything through the darkness around her, it seemed fitting. The only guiding light she had was the flashlights of the giants around her, and she was fully intent on avoiding those at all costs. They swept and brushed across the swamp like searchlights. As the small escapee continued to run madly in a direction that she hoped to be at least vaguely north, they reminded her of a nightmare involving the sun and a magnifying glass.
At that moment, her right foot didn't meet the ground that it had expected, and the thief immediately found herself plunging into a cold pool of rainwater. Drowning in the dark, she flailed about in an even blinder panic than before, trying to grasp for any sort of precipice to escape. Her hands felt something solid and she scrambled madly to hold onto it, kicking and splashing as hard as she could to avoid a watery grave. Her head broke the murky surface and she flung herself back onto the earth, crawling through the slippery mud in a dripping wet daze. Adrenaline kept her moving and brought her back to her feet, and she readied herself to keep running forth with her ring- Wait, where was the ring? She turned back to the pool, where it taunted her with a brief reflection of something gold and emerald beneath its surface.
Before she could utter a thousand curses to the heavens, they parted to reveal a light, beaming down at her. Its wielder did the same with their eyes, honing in on the little creature fumbling around in the dirt.
"Found her!" The giant shouted to the others, her voice loud and imposing to the tiny girl. "Over here!"
The target turned and sprinted in the opposite direction, no longer concerned about the ring - staying alive seemed more important. Whilst she didn't dare to turn back and look, she knew that the giant was chasing her, as the ground shook at a steady pace with each of their booming footsteps. The earth seemed to shake more and more, and she herself started to rattle from the tremors and the terror. The feeling of giant footsteps was familiar to her, but what frightened her the most right now was how slow they were. The thief dared herself to take just a second to check behind her, and she squeaked again as her fears were confirmed - her pursuer was just walking at a leisurely pace. While the thief was pushing herself to the limit to move as fast and far as she could, the giant was covering the same distance in a few casual steps. There was no other option, though. She kept running further and further through the darkness. Over a twig, through the leaves, under the grass, across the mud. The tremors grew more numerous as the other giants closed in as well. The thief turned to her side to see one of the males growing closer and-
Her body slammed to a complete stop as something crashed down through the darkness in front of her with a thunderous crash. Her mind reeled in pain and there was so much noise and everything seemed even darker than before. She slowly became aware of the sickly feeling of wet mud on her back, and her vision cleared. Only the handful of stars in the night sky told her that she had fallen, and as she craned her neck up, she could see what she had ran into - an enormous object, several times her size. The word "Reebok" was written across its side.
The giant peered down at her, their features hidden in the darkness. The thief shielded her eyes as they shone their torch down on her. Two more lights bore down on her within moments.
"Stupid little things, aren't they?" Said the boy whom had stepped in front of her.
"Yeah," the girl agreed. "Can't believe she caused us all this trouble."
The third figure, their leader, said nothing. He knelt down, blotting out the stars and swallowing the sky in darkness, as his head hovered over her. The other giants turned their lights to him, briefly showing his scowl, like the face of an angry god who was displeased with this puny little thing. He held his silence for another moment while he examined the broken thief, sprawled out in the thick mud.
"Where's the ring?" He hissed, his cold breath flooding over her and sending shivers down her spine.
The thief said nothing. Even if she were in a condition to do so, she would have chose not to.
The giant responded by slamming his fist down on the insolent creature. She clasped her eyes shut in a futile effort to blot out the pain, and the ringing in her head rose to a deafening roar. The pain in her body was rising to such a sharpness that it was looping back to a cold numb. She tried to move any of her limbs, but they didn't respond, and she felt so hollow and empty. She couldn't tell how long she was lost in her pain, but whether it was seconds or minutes, her eyes gradually lighted up again. Through the clumps of swampy mud that she was partially buried beneath, she could recognize three huge blurs, dwarfing over her with their sheer size.
"So she doesn't have it?"
"No, she must have dropped it when she tried to run."
"God damn it... Alright, we'll go look for it before sunrise. It must be around here somewhere."
"What about her?"
The blur at the center stepped forward, standing directly over the thief.
"Well, what else do you do with bugs?"
Her antennae twitched as they grasped to sense what was now looming above her. It smelt like dirt and rubber.
Just as she realized what the object was, the giant stomped down furiously. The Anthen felt her whole body being crushed down into the earth, then her mind simply couldn't take the punishment anymore. The earth and darkness swallowed her.