{A/N In Chapter One, the story does not focus on Heavenly Host, but introduces the plot. I apologize for any grammatical errors I may have overlooked and would appreciate feedback.}

Corpse Party:Black Hearts

Chapter One


The cry came quickly from my left. I whirled round but already, there was a brilliant flash of red in the air and, with a whip-like sound, pain blossomed across my cheek. I began to cry out, but before I could I was falling and I found myself unable to breathe. The floor was hard and cold, colder than it had any right to be.

My right shoulder connected painfully with the ground, my hip slamming into place after it. My head met the floor, with such ferocious force, that white spots danced before my eyes. Head ringing, I rolled on my back, groaning. My vision was blurry, but faintly I could make out figures rushing towards me. Suddenly, there was excruciating pain, as I felt something hard slam into my exposed stomach. My mouth gaped open, and I groaned. It felt like every bit of air had been squeezed out of my body. My lungs burned and I began to panic, gasping and wheezing.


I coughed violently, and finally a small amount of air flowed into my chest. I sucked again at the air, greedily, and it flooded my lungs painfully. I coughed again.

"Aw Miss, I was just playing!"


"I didn't mean to hit her, it's not my fault she didn't catch it!"

I rolled over, my arms flailing wildly. Something warm grasped my arm, and I felt Will's arms around me.

"It's alright Brodi, breathe! "

I gasped again, and tears flooded my eyes as my stomach writhed in pain. I bit into my top lip, trying to drown out the noise around me.

"I didn't hit her that hard! She's clearly faking it! Look, watch-"

"Where do you think you're going! Get back here young lady!"

"NO! I'm not taking this! I didn't even do anything!"


Blood was rushing to my cheeks and my tears grew steadier as I felt the gazes of my classmates on my twisted body. The pain in my stomach was beginning to fade and the pain in my cheek, had been replaced by an intense heat, that was no doubt my face turning bright red. I stopped coughing and began to sob, as I realized how embarrassing this was.

"Brodi, please stop! It's alright, calm down! Breathe! Just breathe!"



Ms. Trawly began to bellow again and I could hear Missy screaming back. Acutely aware of all the stares I was getting, I rubbed the tears off my face with my left hand and tried to heave myself up. I placed my left hand on the ground but as I tried to sit up, I overbalanced and would have fallen over if Will hadn't been there to support me. She helped me into a standing position, and I tried to breathe deeply again. I ran my hand over my face but the stinging wasn't as bad anymore. But when I tried to move my right arm, the pain was so intense that I cried out and almost fell over again.

"I'm not gonna let that bitch get all the sympathy, just cos she fell over! She's ACTING! "



I peered up, my eyes blurry with tears. Through them I could make out Missy storming towards us. I started to back away, but Will was still there behind me, and she wasn't moving.

" Look, you're fine aren't you? We were just playing, tell her!"


The words caught in my throat. I could feel Missy's angry gaze and fear shot through me.

"I-I don't know what happened..I..it all happened s-so fast, I-"

"Tell them!"

And then, as usual, Will was there.

"Get back, Missy."

Will stepped in front of me. Her voice was deadly calm, but serious too. I had heard that voice a lot.

"It's fine, I'm just trying to talk to her-"

Missy reached out to me, her bubblegum pink nails snagging my t-shirt. But then Will was there again, and she was slapping the offending hand away.

"Get back, Missy"

The threat was unmistakable this time, and Missy bristled. I could see marching towards us shouting something about calling the headmaster. Missy glared at Will, a look of pure hatred.

"I'll get you, you stupid bitch." she whispered, quietly, before Ms. Trawly's masculine hands gripped her shoulder and pulled her away.

"I'm sorry Will.."

Will raised her head slightly from my kit bag and turned her front half to face me.

"Eh? Did you just say something?"

I raised my voice a little.

"I'm sorry Will."

Will smiled easily and turned back to my bag.

"Don't be. You haven't got anything to be sorry for."

I frowned as she withdrew my school shirt and skirt, and walked calmly over to the bench I was sitting on.

"That's not true. You always stand up for me when this sort of thing happens. But now Missy's going to come after you."

Will sat down next to me and began easing my shoes off.

"Will, you don't need to-"

"Hush. Bending down will only make your shoulder worse." She let my trainers fall to the ground and picked up my school shoes. "Missy's all talk. You know that. She won't come after me, not on her own. So don't worry about it."

"But," I worried as Will placed my feet into my scuffed brown shoes " she was serious this time. You saw it. She's really angry, and..."

Will fastened the last tie on my shoe and looked up into my face.

"...it's all my fault..."

I felt my eyes begin to water again, but I couldn't help it. I stared down at my lap, frowning furiously and trying to keep myself from bursting into tears.


I clenched my hands and felt my fingernails bite into my hand. I began to shake. A short, embarrassing sob bubbled through my quivering lips.

"Brodi. Brodi look at me."

I raised my head. Will was looking straight at me, with her cool blue eyes. Her expression was oddly tranquil, and I couldn't help but not look away from her.

"Never, ever feel sorry for me Brodi. It's you who Missy bullies. It's you that should be felt sorry for. You're my best friend, and if I didn't feel the need to protect you I don't think I would have ever worked up the courage to stand up to that she-hag. Do you understand, Brodi?"

I swallowed and had to take a moment to find my voice.

"Yes.." I whispered.

Will smiled and I couldn't help but smile along with her. Will was so lovely. All she ever did was protect me, and it was times like this that I felt so close to her. I wiped the tears off my face, and sniffed gently.

As Will reached down for my shirt though, my smile faded and I sighed.

"Why do I put up with her, Will? She makes me so..angry. I just..I just don't know why I can't stand up to her."

Will grinned at me and tapped me lightly on the head with her fist.

"I don't know either, silly."

I giggled.

"Now let's get that top off you."


"Well you're not doing it yourself, in this condition. There's nothing to be embarrassed about, look. Come here."


"I can't believe you're still sulking about that."

I frowned down at the ground as we walked, Will with her arm around my back protectively. My cheeks were bright red, and I was so abashed I could barely look at my best friend.

"It was so embarrassing! And there was no need, I could have done it!"

"Not without difficulty you couldn't have."

I huffed and turned my head away.


I didn't turn round. I heard Will sigh.

"I'm sorry I had to do that, but you're in a lot of pain. I only want what's best for you. We're best friends , there are no secrets between us. Brodi-"

She rested her hand on my shoulder.

"I would let you strip me, any day of the week."

I couldn't help it. I snorted with laughter. As I giggled I turned round to Will.

"Now you're just being a pervert!"

Will laughed with me.

"Alright," I succumbed "I forgive you. But no one can know, alright?"

Will laid her hand solemnly across her chest.

"On my honour, I will take this experience to grave."

I nodded happily, and began thinking that it wasn't such a bad thing to have happened. We continued walking for a few more seconds before Will spoke again.

"And, Brodi?"


"I never noticed that mole on your chest before. " She grinned wickedly.

I slapped her on the shoulder.

"Now you're just being mean!"

This only made her grin wider, and I spent the rest of the trip to the infirmary trying to remain angry at her. It didn't work, however, and we both ended up entering the infirmary giggling.

The infirmary consisted of a small room filled with a desk, and a long table for examining students, half hidden by a white screen. The nurse behind the desk had frizzy blonde hair and red cheeks and her head was bent down in concentration. She looked up as we entered and pushed a few strands of hair back from her face.

"What seems to be the problem, girls?"

Will answered for me.

"My friend has hurt her shoulder and stomach playing dodge ball."

"Right." The nurse stood up and bustled over. "Come sit on the bench here darling, that's right."

The paper cover on the table rustled uncomfortably as I sat down. The nurse peered down at me.

"Your shoulder and stomach, yes? Which arm?"

"Uh, this one." I said lifting my right arm slightly. The nurse took it in her hand and raised it gently up and down. I winced.

"Right, that might be a sprain. Let's have a look at it. Pop your shirt off."

My mouth gaped. I couldn't believe I had been asked to strip for the second time in an hour.

"Come on dear, we haven't got all day!" The nurse quipped cheerily. Blushing, I began to remove my shirt. I glanced over at Will, who was grinning from ear to ear. She sniggered.

"Don't you say a word!"

"I've seriously injured myself and been sexually harassed twice. I fail to see how this day could get any worse."

"Now you're just over-exaggerating."

Will and I walked back up the corridor, towards the front entrance.

"How's your arm?"

I touched the bandage around my shoulder.

"It's alright I guess. It's still hard to move."

"At least you won't have to play dodge ball anymore."

I smiled.

"I guess so."

We turned a corner, into the corridor which ran adjacent to the head teacher's office. Will stopped suddenly.


I followed Will's gaze down the corridor. Missy was standing 20 feet away from us in front of the headmaster himself. I froze.

"Will, what do we-"

"Shh. Just walk past her."

We began to walk again. Soon, we could hear what Mr. Nelson, our headmaster, was saying.

"I'm very disappointed in you Millicent. That was a very cruel thing to do to poor Brodi, and it was against the rules of the game. I understand that it was not your intention to hurt her like that, but nonetheless I must give you a punishment. I want you to stay in after school on Monday and help clean up the equipment closet. Do you understand Millicent?"

Missy stayed quiet. Mr. Nelson sighed.

"I'll see you on Monday, Millicent." He nodded to us as we walked past. "Goodnight girls."

"Goodnight." I murmured. My heart was pounding and I was acutely aware of the unsettling noise of our shoes squeaking along the waxy floor. The hairs on the back of my necks stood up as I heard Mr. Nelson's door shut. For a few seconds there was no sound, and I thought we would get away. The entrance was so close. But then-


"Keep walking.." Will murmured. We sped up.


I heard footsteps behind us.

"Look at me when I'm talking to you!"

Suddenly, Missy grabbed my collar, and I cried out and fell back.

"Hey! Get off her!" Will cried.

Missy threw me against the wall.

"Listen. You got me landed with that stupid punishment. But to make it up to me, you'll do it instead. It's your fault anyway."

Will grabbed my hand and hauled me away from Missy.

"She's not going to be doing anything, Missy. It's your own fault. "

Missy's cheeks turned red as she glared at Will.

"Don't get involved Willy. I've already got a plan for you. If you shut up now, I might just forget it.."

"Can it. We don't want to hear about all your precious little vendettas. Just leave us alone."

Before I could see Missy's reaction, Will spun me around and walked me briskly towards the exit. But I could feel Missy, seething behind me, her eyes burning into my exposed back. A shiver of fear crawled over my flesh as Will pushed me through the door into the light.

We walked home as the sun was setting, in an unusually intense wind. Will's short, caramel coloured hair fluttered harmlessly around her chin and neck. I wasn't so lucky. I clawed my long dark hair out of my face again and again, only to have it whipped straight back . Glimpses of bright orange sunlight were visible through the long black strands. I heard Will sigh above the wind.

"Don't you have a hair band? "

"No, Ipfft!" I spat bits of hair out of my mouth. " I forgot again.."

"You'll just have to tuck it into your shirt." I felt Will's cold fingers scrape my hair out of my face and wrestle it down the back of my shirt.

"There." she said, admiring her work. I grimaced and ran my hand over my back.

"Now it itches."

Will tutted.

"Stop complaining. At least you can see now."

As we crossed the road, the houses offered some shelter, and the wind seemed to die down a little. We walked in silence for a few minutes. That was one of things I loved about Will. I never felt responsible for keeping up a conversation. Sometimes we could just enjoy being silent around each other. As we walked the wind howled above our heads, scraping against the rooftops and bending distant trees right over. They looked like rows of men bowing. Or ghastly fingers pointing.

Our surroundings soon changed, the urban flats shifting to sub-urban terraces. We stopped at the crossroads, like we did every day.

"Well," said Will, giving her gentle half-smile " I'll see you tomorrow. Goodnight."

She turned to leave.

"Will, wait!"

I reached out and grabbed her hand. She turned around startled.

"What is it? Are you alright?"

"Will," I said, ignoring her " Will, promise me you'll be careful!"

Will's mouth curved into a relived smile.

"Is that all? "

"I'm serious Will! Don't let Missy get you. I'm scared for you... just.. just, promise me you'll be careful? Please?"

I stared into Will's eyes, trying to give her the same look she had fixed me with earlier. But Will didn't try to look away. Her smile grew thinner and a serious expression appeared on her face. For a moment I didn't think she was going to answer. But she did.

"I promise Brodi."

She put her arms round me.

"I promise I won't leave you alone."

I tried to speak, to tell her that's not what I meant, but my chest felt so tight I couldn't open my mouth. I just squeezed my eyes shut and returned Will's hug. We stayed like that for a few minutes, and I pretended it would never end, that I could float in my friends embrace forever. But then Will released me, and the cold air hit me like a knife.

"You'd better go now. It's getting dark and you have a long way to walk."

I sniffed.


Will smiled down at me.

"Goodnight then. Have a safe journey."

"I will. Goodnight. I.." I paused. "Thank you, Will. I didn't thank you properly before. For standing up to me. Thank you."

Will stood calmly. The wind lapped at her light brown hair, and the setting sun lit up her features. Her small lips and wide, calm eyes. She was my anchor, so cool and sophisticated. In that moment, I loved her so much I thought I might burst. I didn't want her to go. I didn't want to ever let her down.


She turned and left. The sun sank lower under the horizon and the air suddenly seemed much colder and emptier.

By the time I reached the edge of the park it was pitch black. Only the unnatural glare of the streetlights provided any respite from the darkness. I huffed and puffed and shivered beneath the yellow light, disappointed that despite rushing I had not crossed the park before night fell.

The park was a jungle of over-grown dry grass, and broken play equipment. During the day there were usually a few kids playing around the rusty jungle gym, but as the day ended it became a haven for teenagers from the 'wrong-side of the city' as my form teacher, Ms. Neamo would have put it, or 'nutjobs and junkies' as Will would. That was one of the reasons why I was nervous about entering the park so late. I had been chased home once before and was not eager to do so again.

The other reason, was that there were no streetlights in the park, having been smashed long ago. This meant the park was pitch-black during the night. The twisted play-equipment and gnarled trees seemed a hundred times more terrifying in the dark, not to mention the hidden threat of whoever might be waiting for me in the blackness.

I glanced nervously at my phone. The on-screen digital clock read 7:45. I chewed my lip. I hadn't realised I'd been in the nurses office so long. I stole a glance behind me, which I immediately regretted. The long dark street was empty, completely devoid of any visible life. I wished that just one person was outside, just one person, to remind me that I wasn't alone. But the fact was that until I reached the other side of the park, I was alone.

With one quick breath, I stole myself, and hurried into the park. The faint light of the sub-urbs was quickly absorbed into the darkness, and I was left striding through the pitch black park. Every step I took increased the feeling of unease which was slithering up my spine.

Long dry grass crunched under my feet and scratched at my legs. My breath seemed to echo loudly in my ears, as I struggled through the overgrown foliage. I could swear that I heard noises behind me, footsteps or a man's heavy breathing, but every time I glanced back all I could make out through the gloom was the distant lights I had left behind. Every time, I jerked my head to the front and told myself that it was only my own breathing I heard, that the wind was rustling the grass. But I couldn't shake the feeling of fear that had asserted itself in the pit of my stomach.

The crackling of the grass ceased, as I stepped onto the gravely path leading through the park. I sighed with relief, as I had been worried that I would not find it in the dark. I turned left and followed the path hurriedly.

I was now so far through the park, that if I looked behind myself, I couldn't see the light of the streets. The only light I now had was that from the moon. I flipped open my phone, hoping I could use it as a make-shift torch, but the small, lonely light it produced was swallowed up by the darkness. I put my phone back in my pocket.

It was bitterly cold, and the wind nipped at my legs and bare arms. I shivered, as goose-bumps crawled up my thighs, wishing I was in a nice warm pair of jeans, and a sweatshirt rather than my thin starchy school uniform. My hair had slipped out of my shirt and was flailing about my face again. I reminded myself that I would soon be home, and trudged onwards.

After a time I was able to make out the twisted silhouette of the play park in the distance. I slowed my pace. I wasn't sure whether to be relived or apprehensive. The broken play park was where the teens I so wished to avoid congregated, and if they were there tonight I would have to circle around them, journeying into the dense shrubbery that would be near impossible to navigate through in the dark. Alternatively, I could sprint through the play park, and hope that none of the thugs caught me, but I was too apprehensive about the idea to go through with it. On the other hand however, reaching the play park meant that I was almost out of the park, on the other side of the sub-urbs, where my warm house would be waiting for me. I wouldn't have far to go, even if I was chased by the thuggish teenagers.

As I approached the play park, I squinted into the gloom. I couldn't make out any shapes among the twisted metal, nor could I hear any chat or laughter. In fact the park seemed unusually quiet. There was no noise from streets and houses and no traffic could be heard from the nearby roads. It was a Friday night. The park should have been packed with teenagers by now. The play park loomed ahead of me and my feeling of apprehension became more acute. But I had no choice but to forge ahead. Once I had the play park behind me, I would be free to slip into my warm cosy bed, and spend the weekend resting my shoulder. Well, except Saturday. I spent my Saturdays with Will. I smiled as I remembered, we would be going to the cinema this time. That, if anything, should be motivation enough to cross the park.

I crept into the abandoned play area. I could see the structures up close now, and they were all metal, rusted and broken. If I had any, I wouldn't want my children playing near here. The dusty ground was scuffed and worn down by hundreds of feet and there was a dirty feeling around the area. I was just a few steps past the first piece of play equipment, when a terrible shiver leapt up my spine and I was overcome with the feeling that there was someone behind me. I whirled round, my heart leaping up into my throat. But there was no one there. Of course there was no one there. I swallowed uneasily.

I turned around, reluctantly, and hurried forward. I fought the overwhelming desire to turn around, and kept my head down. My heavy breathing echoed in my ears. This is too weird, this is too weird I thought. Oh God. Oh God, I just need to get out of here. My heart pounded wildly, as my feet stumbled across the ground, under trembling legs.

I was near the end now. I could see the houses on the other side, their lights twinkling like precious diamonds. I inhaled deeply through my nose. This was it. There was nothing scary in the park, I was jumping at my own shadow. I slowed down, lest anyone saw me in such a panicked state. I stopped, and with trembling hands, smoothed down my ruffled shirt, and tucked my hair back behind my ears.

I raised my foot to step away from the park, from the darkness.

"Don't leave."

I froze. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and my body turned cold. I stood for a moment completely motionless, paralysed in my fear. There was someone behind me. I whimpered quietly.

A pause, and then the small, sad voice came again.

"Don't leave. I'll be lonely if you leave."

It took me a moment, but I realised that the voice I was hearing was that of a child's. I frowned. Slowly, and with great apprehension, I turned around to face the voice. I gasped.

In front of me was a small girl. She could only have been seven or eight and she was dressed in a ragged red dress. Her long dark hair was tangled and her whole body looked dirty. She looked up at me with a sad, serious expression.

"Oh my gosh..are you alright?"

I took a step towards the girl, thinking she must be in trouble because of her ragged appearance. But the way she looked at me, she didn't seem distressed. I stopped, realising that she must be a child from one of the rougher areas. No wonder she was dirty in those conditions.

"Please." said the girl "Please, stay. I want to play with you."

I glanced behind me. I knew I should go, but I didn't want to leave the child all alone in the dark like this. I turned back around and walked a little closer to the girl. Nervously I bent down slightly.

"Are you Ok? Is your mummy or daddy nearby? Are you lost?"

To my surprise, the girl completely ignored me.

"I need you to play with me."

I blinked.


"Yes." said the little girl, very seriously. "Play with me. And my friends. Come play with us."

"Um." This wasn't really the place for playing, but if the little girl and her friends were playing out here alone, I couldn't just leave them. Maybe, there was an adult I could talk to with the little girls friends. "..Alright then. I'll come play with you. Can you show me your friends?"

The girl stared at me uncomfortably, then a long thin smile stretched across her face. I shivered. The smile didn't seem to reach her eyes. Without looking away from me, she lifted her left arm and pointed. I followed her finger and frowned. She was pointing towards an old, dark shed to the side of the play park. It was where some of the toys used to be kept, when this park still had a caretaker to supervise the children. It didn't seem right that children would be playing in an old shed. It could be dangerous. It struck me that the girl's friends might be older kids who have pressured her into coming here. If they were, I couldn't let her remain here with them. I looked back at the girl, who was still smiling.

"Your friends, they're in there, are they?" I asked her.

She nodded.

"Ok..and these friends, they want to play a game? Did they send you out here?"

She shook her head.

"No. I came out here myself. We need one more to play our game. You'll play, won't you?"

Her smile was gone now, and her serious look had returned. This didn't seem right.

I was about to suggest we find her mother or another adult before we went to see her friends, but before I could, she was running off towards the shed.

"Hey, wait!"

I straightened up and scampered after her. Despite her size and the fact that I was sprinting, she easily outran me, and as we passed the mangled jungle gym, she was well ahead of me. As she ran I realised she was bare-foot. Some of the conditions in my area were bad, but not, I had thought, bad enough that a child should have to go without shoes.

The girl stopped when she reached the shed and waited as I ran, panting, up to her. I stopped beside her.

"Don't..don't go..running off..like that." I wheezed.

Once again, the girl acted as though I had not said anything.

"In here." She smiled.

I looked up at the brown wooden hut. It seemed dark and dirty, like most of the things in the park. I was struck, again, with a feeling of unease. I looked back at the girl, expecting her to go in, but she just looked at me, as though she were expecting something. I stared back at her, until her smile faded.

"Go on." she urged "Open the door!"

I frowned. She seemed awfully insistent.

"I'm tired and I hurt my arm today." I half-lied "Would you do it for me?"

The change in the girl's expression shocked me, as her impatient frown turned into something far more sinister. Her eyebrows knitted together.

"No." she said stubbornly "You have to do it."

I couldn't understand why she was so angry. She was so intense for such a little girl, but maybe that was due to her upbringing. She was clearly in a bad state. I reminded myself that if I could get her away from this place I might be able to save her, get social security involved. That's what Will would do, I was sure of it. I turned to the door, and placed my hand on the metal handle. I withdrew it almost immediately. It was sticky and warm to the touch.

"Go on! Do it!"

The girl sounded more impatient. I sucked in a breath and told myself I was being silly. I grabbed the handle and pulled the door open, with a loud creak. Inside, it was a deep, dark black. Before I could make any move towards it, the young girl swooped under my arm, and danced into the room, disappearing into the darkness. I peered in after her.

"Hello! Where are you? Are you alright?"

"Come on!" Her voice floated over from the back of the shed.

Every bit of my body seemed to be screaming at me to turn away, to forget about the girl and the shed. But I couldn't just leave her here. How could I face myself. This girl seemed to need my help, and if that was the case, there was no way I was turning back. Trembling, I stepped into the shed. My eyes did not adjust, and the inside was truly pitch black. There was a high pitched giggle from somewhere ahead of me, and then the wind must have hit the door, because it slammed close with a bang, leaving me in a terrible, black silence.