“Nakashiro-kun…” the girl whimpered as he pressed on, closing the distance
between them. Her lips trembled as she felt his breath on hers. She couldn’t believe it.
The most popular and good-looking guy in school was in her arms. Of all people, he
chose her, Yue Minosawa, to be his girlfriend. She knew she wasn’t particularly pretty,
and that her personality definitely did not stand out. Yet she was the probably the
smartest student in her grade, scoring in the top 10 every year in the national assessment
exam. Of course, Nakashiro Sousuke would also score within the top 50, making him not
only totally attractive, but totally intelligent as well. And now she was going to spend her
last few months of high school with this perfect man.
“Don’t be so polite, call me Sousuke.” He said just before he pressed his lips
against hers, not allowing her to respond. This was Yue’s first kiss, her first boyfriend
actually, as she was never socially active. She shivered slightly as his hand unbuttoned
the top of her blouse and reached inside. Acting upon instinct, she buried her hand in his
thick, curly hair and allowed herself to melt in his arms.
“Minosawa-san!” She turned around to see Sousuke waving to her as he ran
down the hallway. She tried to compose herself, as Sousuke had requested that they keep
their relationship a secret until after the final exams. “It’s so people won’t make a fuss
about us,” he had said. “I don’t want people to disturb your studying. We both have to
make it to university together!”
Yue didn’t object, thinking it was a reasonable request. His next request, however,
bothered her a bit. “I’ll be seeing some other girls just so people won’t suspect what’s
going on and stuff. I’ll just be playing with them a bit, nothing serious. I’ll dump them
all after exams are over and tell everyone about us.” Yue wasn’t concerned that he would
abandon her. She knew he really cared for her, and that he was doing all of this for her
good. However, it was unfair for all those other girls to have their feelings toyed with by
her Sousuke. She didn’t want to cause unnecessary pain to anyone, but since it was his
desire, she had no choice but to agree.
“The drafts have all been looked over, and the layout’s done. All that is left is
your approval and we can send these off to be printed.” Sousuke handed her a file with
the draft of this month’s issue of the school newspaper. Ever since the beginning of their
relationship, Sousuke has joined almost all of the clubs that Yue led. As one of the most
active academic students in the school, Yue was leader of the newspaper club, the library
club, the yearbook club, the literary arts club, and the mathematics association. She was
also the vice-president of the student council. Despite the fact that she played such an
important role at school, she always appeared quiet and slightly intimidating. Few people
ever made the attempt to speak to her or befriend her.
Smiling, she handed the file back. “I trust that you did a good job editing the
articles. Just send it off and make sure it is printed and ready for distribution this
Friday.” Sousuke snapped a quick, playful salute and ran off to contact the publishers.
Yue smiled at his cuteness, and turned to walk back to her classroom.
“No way… Jigoku Shoujo? The Hell Girl?”
Yue turned in surprised. She spotted two girls gossiping by the window. Even
though she wasn’t very superstitious, she had heard rumours about the Hell Girl, who
offered a terrible service. She leaned against the wall and pretended to be reading a book
as she listened on.
“Yea, I heard some guy from the other high school disappeared! Apparently his
rival went to some webpage called the Hotline to Hell at midnight and contacted the Hell
Girl! If you enter the name of the person you hold a grudge against, the Hell Girl is
supposed to take him to Hell or something. The next day, the other guy was gone!
Vanished! People say he moved away or something, but I think the Hell Girl took him to
Yue smiled. These girls were so silly. There’s no way someone can just
disappear, and there’s DEFINITELY no way someone can be taken to Hell by some
imaginary character through using a webpage. Yue closed her book and walked into her
classroom just as the bell rang for the end of lunch break.
Walking home later that day, Yue decided to stop by a grocery store to pick up groceries
for dinner tonight. Maybe she’ll cook and give her mom a break, since both her parents
worked and were generally really exhausted by the time they got home. She finished
quickly, and nodded politely at the old lady who was entering the store as she walked out.
Just then, she looked up and saw Sousuke at the bus stop across the street. She was about
to call out when a girl ran up to Sousuke and hugged him.
Yue’s heart skipped a beat. She recognized the back of that girl’s head. It was
her best friend, Mizuki Ami! If Yue was serious and studious, Ami was the complete
opposite. This happy-go-lucky girl only managed average marks in school, but her
personality was unmatched. She was always smiling, always willing to lend a helping
hand. She was also very pretty in Yue’s opinion, with big brown eyes that glowed with
her innocence and cheerful nature. The unlikely pair became friends when Ami
approached Yue in the first year of high school, and playful said, “Are you lonely? Do
you want to be my friend? You look so sad… if we become friends, will you let me
share my happiness with you? I have more than enough for the both of us!” Surprised
that anyone would even talk to her, Yue nodded in shock, and thus the two became the
best of friends.
She watched in horror as her best friend planted a quick kiss on her boyfriend’s
cheek. She wasn’t scared that Sousuke would betray her. She knew that this was simply
part of his plan to conceal their relationship until the time was right. What she didn’t like
was that he was using her best friend, toying with her feelings. She knew immediately
that she had to tell Ami the truth to prevent her from getting her. Determined, Yue
walked straight home while trying to think of the best way to warn her best friend.
The phone rang unexpectedly, making Yue drop the pencil she was using to do
her math homework with. Recovering quickly, she recognized Ami’s number on the
display screen and picked up the phone.
“Oh my God Yue! You won’t believe this! Sousuke asked me out! OH MY
GOSH!!! AHHHH!!!” Yue cringed slightly as her excited friend screamed into the
phone. It was also because the words stung a little bit, even though she knew that this
was all just a lie that Sousuke had staged. Breathing deeply, Yue listened as Ami
described how Sousuke approached her at school while they were editing the newspaper
together, and how they had a lot of fun after school. A bit of jealousy arose from her
heart. Even though Sousuke had said he loved her, he never took her out to do anything.
No movies, no dinner, no nothing. Still, Yue believed in Sousuke, knowing that he will
eventually make her happy once school is over. She had a more pressing task at hand
“Ami, I’m glad you’re happy and everything, but don’t get too close to Sousuke.
He might just be playing with your feelings.” The line suddenly fell silent. Yue listened
for Ami’s reply, and didn’t hear anything but gentle breathing. Suddenly, the breathing
sped up, and eventually burst out in laughter.
“Oh Yue! You’re such a worrywart! Don’t worry! I know what I’m doing, and I
know Sousuke likes me for who I am. Awwww, it’s so great to have such an awesome
friend like you! Anyway, I need to go now! That English essay that’s worth 50% of our
mark awaits me! Oh! Would you read it over for me after I’m done? Your English is so
much better than mine! Anyway, LATER!” Yue winced as she heard the click before
the line went dead. This girl is just too carefree, she thought to herself. She would try
again tomorrow. Sighing, she picked up her pencil and finished her last math question.
Satisfied, she put her math book and her completed English essay into her schoolbag
before she turned off her lights and climbed into bed.
“Minosawa-san, do you want me to proofread your essay?” Sousuke smiled his
radiant smile as he reached across the desk for Yue’s English essay. She was eating
lunch with Sousuke and Ami, as Ami wanted to “introduce” Yue to her new boyfriend.
Smiling in reply, she handed him her essay. Ami started chattering away about how she
was fortunate to have two of the brightest students in the school as her friends.
“Yue is so nice! She says she’s going to edit my essay! Isn’t she nice Sousuke?
Ohhh since she’s editing mine, you’re editing hers, maybe I’ll edit yours!” Sousuke
laughed and tapped Ami on the nose gently. “No… I’m sure my essay’s fine, and who
knows what crazy little additions you might make to my paper!”
Yue bit her lip and watched the exchange bitterly. Forcing herself to laugh, she
tried to act natural. “Oh Ami! Nakashiro-kun knows you so well!” Turning to Sousuke,
she added, “Oh, and thank you for offering to edit my essay, Nakashiro-kun. Maybe I’ll
call you tonight and um… ask about my essay. I have to go to a student council meeting
now, I’ll see you guys later.” Standing up abruptly, Yue turned around and stormed out
of the classroom. Despite everything, she could not suppress the angry jealousy that
bubbled from the depths of her aching heart.
The next few days went by uneventfully. Ami kept talking about her experiences
with Sousuke, Sousuke called Yue every night to smother her with words of love, and her
heart began to calm itself. By the time Friday came around, Yue had accustomed herself
to seeing Ami and Sousuke together. She walked through the school gates, feeling
relatively fine when she realized everyone was looking at her. Confused, Yue ran
quickly into the school building, still surrounded by intense gazes and loud whispering.
Frustrated, she ran quickly to her classroom and threw open the doors. Silence fell upon
the room. Then she saw it. The title on the front page of the school newspaper read:
“MINOSAWA YUE! THE TRUTH BEHIND THE QUIET GENIUS!” Underneath the
title, there were various pictures of herself moaning as a male student caressed her chest
under her blouse. She gasped in horror. She didn’t even know the boy in the picture!
Yet the only person who had ever touched her was Sousuke! Burning with humiliation,
she walked over to her seat and sat down, closing her eyes and covering her ears. She
wanted to just shut the whole world out, she didn’t want to see anymore of the fake
pictures, she didn’t want to hear anymore of the gossiping whispers.
Suddenly, someone slammed both hands on her desk. Looking up, she saw Ami’s
tearful face. Her heart immediately felt relief. Ami knew that something was wrong;
Ami knew that someone was trying to hurt Yue, and now she was crying for her. Yue
smiled and reached up to grab Ami’s hand in appreciation, but then Ami raised her hand
and slapped Yue across the face. Shocked and confused, Yue looked up at her best friend.
“You LYING, BACKSTABBING BITCH! I thought you were my best friend! I
thought were you happy that Sousuke and I were together! Why did you lie and tell him
that I was cheating on him? Now he’s dumped me! DUMPED ME! What did I ever do
to deserve this?” Ami grabbed the school newspaper from a nearby desk, and shoved it
in Yue’s face. “And what is this? I never thought you would be such a slut! What more
are you hiding from me? I… I… UGH!” Flustered, Ami threw the newspaper at Yue
and ran out of the room.
The rest of the day was spent in utter anger and humiliation. She had yet to find
the culprit of the newspaper stunt, but she knew she had to talk to Sousuke about Ami.
What did he do? Why did he say something like that? She was still thinking when she
was approached by her English teacher.
“Minosawa-kun, Nakashiro-kun, can I speak to you privately please?” Yue
looked up to see her teacher holding two essays. She nodded and followed the teacher
out of the room and into the teacher’s lounge. The teacher sat down and sighed as both
Yue and Sousuke stood attentively beside his desk. Yue had no idea what had happened,
yet Sousuke had a look of calmness on his face. He turned slightly and flashed Yue a
smile. Yet, this was not a smile the Yue had seen before. It wasn’t his radiant, attractive
smile. This smile seemed slightly… different. Nonetheless, Yue smiled back, thinking
that he was just trying to comfort her. The teacher cleared his throat and the two of the
turned to face him.
“Minosawa-kun, Nakashiro-kun, I would like you to explain yourselves.”
Throwing the two essays on his desk, Yue noticed that both essays were identical: they
were both HER essay! Her mouth dropped in shock, as did Sousuke’s. The teacher
sighed. “Let’s make this easier for all of us. Which one of you wrote the essay?”
Sousuke suddenly dropped to his knees. He buried his face into his hands and
remained silent for a while. Then he looked up at both his teacher and Yue with a look of
complete disbelief. “Minosawa! I only gave my essay to you because you said you were
going to help me edit it! I didn’t think you were going to copy it and hand it in as your
own work! Sensei… I wrote the essay…”
The teacher nodded. “I thought so. Minosawa-kun, I am thoroughly disappointed
in you. What happened to you? You were our top student! And now… all this business
with the newspaper… and now you plagiarised an English essay? I’m sorry Minosawa-
kun. I have to strip you of all your extracurricular roles at school until you shape up. I
am also forced to ask you to write another essay, but I will tell you now that you will not
get a mark higher than 50% for this assignment. I believe this is the most appropriate
punishment for your actions. Dismissed.”
Sousuke bowed and walked out of the room. Yue stood there in shock as a
feeling of betrayal washed over her. Suddenly her world turned black and she fell to the
“Yue?” Yue opened her eyes and saw the tearful faces of her parents. The
parents who worked hard to earn money for her university tuition. They knew that she
wanted to become a doctor and that it would cost a lot of money. They still supported her
dreams. And now, her dreams were destroyed by the boy she gave her heart to. Yue
closed her eyes and cried, while her mother hugged her tightly. Her father stood up and
wiped his tears away.
“They called us at work and said that you collapsed at school. Then we heard
about everything that happened to you today. You didn’t do any of those things, did
you?” her father said through a stuffy nose. Yue opened her eyes and looked at her
father. There was a look of disappointment on his face, and she saw an equally
distrusting and disappointed face on her mother. She knew immediately that they also
believed that she had done all those things. Overwhelmed, she pushed her mother gently,
and said, “Please… just… leave me alone.”
Her parents got up and left the room. Her mother flashed her one sad look of
disappointment before closing the door behind her. Yue grabbed her pillow and cried.
It was almost midnight. Yue clicked the web browser icon on her computer, and
typed in “Hotline to Hell” in the search bar. As the clock stuck midnight, she clicked the
first of the search results that her browser provided. The screen turned black, and a flash
animation of a flame appeared for a split second. Then the black page suddenly showed
one line of text: Your bitterness, I will dispel. Underneath that one line of text was a box
similar to the search bar, where one should enter the name of the victim. Gritting her
teeth, Yue entered his name. Nakashiro Sousuke. Hesitating for only a second, she
clicked the send box under his name. The screen turned black and nothing happened.
Yue sighed. She wasn’t expecting anything to happen, but the possibility of
sending this damned man to Hell made her feel good. Just when she was about to turn
off the computer and return to bed, she spotted something in the mirror behind her.
Turning around, she came face to face with big, red eyes.
Yue gasped in shock. Standing before her was a girl of about 13 years, with
beautiful, long, jet-black hair that fell down past her waist. Her bangs were cut neatly
across her forehead. She wore a navy-blue sailor’s uniform, similar to those of the
students in middle-school. She had a beautiful doll’s face, with a nicely-shaped nose,
small, perfectly-formed lips, and large red eyes. Her eyes seemed to see right through
Yue, and it sent shivers down her spine.
The girl spoke. “I am Enma Ai, you called for me.” Her voice was soft and
gentle. It sounded like music to Yue’s ears, yet there was a terrifying undertone to her
words. It was beautiful, yet horrific at the same time. Yue stared in disbelief as she
spoke her thoughts aloud.
“Are you… the Hell Girl?”
Suddenly Yue’s room disappeared. Both Yue and Enma Ai were standing in a
beautiful field, where the sun was setting against the mountains in the distance. The
setting sun’s light made the whole world look a beautiful red. Yue looked around at the
imposing beauty of her surroundings. This is impossible, she thought to herself. We
were just in my room, there’s no way these trees and mountains could be here! While her
mind denied the practicality of the situation, it still felt perfectly natural to her. Then she
noticed them. Three figures stood behind Enma Ai. The first was a short old man
wearing an old brown outfit with a long brown coat and a fisherman’s hat. Standing next
to him was a handsome young man with hair covering one eye. His other eye was a
shocking green, which added to his handsomeness. Wearing jeans and a white jacket, he
looked more stunning than any other man Yue’s ever seen. Lastly, there was a woman
wearing a kimono which was pulled down to expose her shoulders. Yue recognized the
obi sash on her waist, which signified that she was a prostitute. Yet the woman did not
seem dirty or vulgar to her. She was surrounded by an air of elegance and grace, which
only served to accentuate her beauty.
The three individuals stood behind Enma Ai, as if they were her servants. Enma
Ai waved her hand, and the old man tossed a red scarf over his shoulder. Immediately he
became a black straw doll with a red string tied around its neck. The Hell Girl picked up
the straw doll and handed it to Yue.
“Take it. If you truly wish to eliminate your antagonist, you must untie that red
string. If you remove the string, you shall officially enter into a contract with me. The
one you seek revenge upon shall be taken immediately to Hell. However, if I deliver
your revenge, I must have you make restitution to me. When one person is cursed, two
graves are dug. If you accept the contract, thy soul shall fall into the pit of Hell, never to
Suddenly flames engulfed Yue, and she felt a pain more severe than anything she
has experienced before. She cried out and reached towards Enma Ai. As sudden as they
appeared, the flames disappeared. Gasping for breath, Yue fell onto the ground. She
looked up at Enma Ai, who only stared back with those glowing red eyes that showed no
“Well, that’s only after you die.” Yue blinked, and then they were back in her
own bedroom. Enma Ai turned around and looked over her shoulder before disappearing
into the darkness. She said one last thing before even the vestiges of her presence were
swallowed by the heavy darkness of midnight.
“The rest, is for you to decide.”
Yue ran to her computer, wanting to speak to that beautiful girl once more. She
clicked the link to the webpage again and again, yet an error page appeared every time.
She cried out in frustration. Gripping the red string, she spoke to the doll, hoping the
message would somehow reach the raven-haired girl in the beautiful sunset world.
“My life is already a living Hell!” With that, Minosawa Yue tugged the red string
with all her strength. A strange breeze came through her opened window, and the straw
doll was swept out of her hands. Exhausted, Yue collapsed into bed. The last thing she
heard before she drowned in sleep was a deep voice saying, “I hear and deliver this
Nakashiro Sousuke walked home from the bar. He was underaged, but since most
of the women he played with were older than him, he could easily get into a bar with
these women without being questioned. This world was his. He could do whatever he
wanted, and still get away with it. He was smart, handsome, and cunning. Thinking back
on the things that happened over the past few days, Sousuke smiled at his own genius and
the stupidity of females. They were good for only two things: to play with and to use.
Lost in his thoughts, he walked into someone. Just when he was about to yell at the
person who bumped into him, he looked up to see that he had run into a beautiful woman.
Smiling, he flashed his best smiling and led her to the nearest bar.
“And… that Ami girl… she was hot, but a TOTAL blonde!” Sousuke laughed as
the alcohol continued to make him speak. “But the dumbest one of them all was that
stupid Yue girl! Ha! She thought I loved her! Now she’s lost her future, her best friend,
and her boyfriend! Of course, I covered my ass by editing the picture and replacing my
face with the face of some loser who keeps bothering me. Oh man! Two birds with one
stone! I’m so smart!” He looked up to see the reaction of the beautiful woman beside
him. The woman raised her eyebrow.
“Would you do something like that to me?” She said, putting on a puppy face.
Damn, Sousuke thought, this chick is hot. He smiled and touched her face. “No way…
I’ll treat you nicely.” He tilted her chin upward, and moved closer to kiss her. What he
felt wasn’t soft flesh. It was solid bone. Shocked, he backed away from the woman.
Suddenly all he could see was a skeleton in the woman’s clothes. Terrified, he backed
away further, only to bump into a handsome young man. He grabbed the man and
pointed a trembling finger at the woman. The man smiled.
“Yes, isn’t Hone-Onna beautiful? Her bones are so white and solid…” Sousuke
looked up at the young man in horror. Then, out of nowhere, a big green eye appeared on
top of the man’s head. Screaming, he had nowhere to run, trapped between a skeleton
woman and a man with an eye on the top of his head. Suddenly a beautiful young girl in
a black kimono appeared before him. Her piercing red eyes made him freeze, and
suddenly both the young man and the woman appeared in their original forms beside her.
“Do you repent for your sins?” The handsome man asked. The woman laughed
and shook her head. “Don’t waste your breath, Ichimoku Ren. Men like these are
Sousuke looked back and forth between the three people standing in front of him.
The doll-like girl remained silent as the two commenced in a friendly argument above her
head. Angry that he was being ignored, he stood up.
“I didn’t do anything wrong! Why should I have to repent for anything? I was
born with good looks and brains; shouldn’t I use them to my own advantage? Those who
are used by me are clearly more useless than me, so what’s wrong with using garbage
An old man with a fisherman’s hat appeared, and said, “So he says, Miss.”
Suddenly the flowers on the girl’s kimono seemed to come alive. The girl’s
gentle voice filled the room, which had now been covered in complete darkness. All
Sousuke could see was the girl and her eerie kimono.
“Oh Pitiful shadow cloaked in darkness, thy actions cause men pain and suffering.
Thy hollow soul drowns in thy sins. How would you like to see what death is like?"
A bell rang in the distant darkness, and the flowers on the girl’s kimono seemed to
come out of her clothing, and they smothered Nakashiro Sousuke before he lost
He woke to the sound of water and creaking wood. Sousuke sat up and realized
he was sitting in a wooden boat, and the girl with the kimono was operating the rudder-
paddle. He tried to sit up, but realized that he couldn’t move. Looking down at his body,
he saw skeleton hands holding his body in place. The skeleton-woman appeared beside
him, and ran a bony finger down his face, ripping the skin and drawing blood. Sousuke
“Where the hell am I going? What are you doing? NO! Not my face!” Ignoring
her victim Enma Ai steered the small wooden ferry through a red gate, whispering, “I
shall deliver this vengeance to Hell.” Finally, together with her victim, they disappeared
into the distance as the gentle sound of a bell rang.
“Yue!” She looked up to see Ami running up to her with a bento. Panting, Ami
smiled and shoved the bento into Yue’s hands. “I’m so sorry for what I said about you, I
was totally wrong. I made lunch for you in apology.” Clapping her hands together and
bowing with her eyes squinted, Aim waited for Yue’s reply. Yue smiled and opened the
bento, grabbed a piece of fried pork and winced.
“Ami, are you trying to kill me? This food isn’t edible! Next time, I’m making
lunch!” Looking up, Ami saw her friend smiling, and they knew that everything was ok.
The English teacher had looked over the English essays, and realized that the style it was
written in was clearly Yue’s style, and the references to oneself were all written in
feminine form. Some of Sousuke’s friends also pointed out that he was extremely skilled
in photo-editing, so he must have also been responsible for the pictures as well. Yue got
everything back, from her extracurricular positions, to her English mark, and even her
best friend. As Ami chattered on about random things, Yue looked at her own reflection
in the window and saw the black flame encased in a circle tattooed on her chest. She
knew she was going to Hell for sending Sousuke to Hell, but for now, she was satisfied.
She looked up at the sky and realized life was just fine. Yup, for now, she was satisfied.
Somewhere in a dark room in the sunset world where Enma Ai lived, she lit
another candle. Black letters appeared, spelling out the name Minosawa Yue. Putting it
among the countless other candles in the room, Enma Ai watched as the flame flickered
against the darkness, the candle slowly burning out as Yue’s life inched towards its end.
Closing the door, Enma Ai whispered into the darkness.
“I shall exact your vengeance.”