Slaughter Daughter by Eve Langlais


“It’sover when I say it’s over,” Olsen snarled, rising to the occasion.

“You’re questioning a minor without a guardian,” the social worker said. Her hair was the kind of blonde that needed help from a bottle.

“Not much choice given we’re trying to locate her parents,” Olsen argued.

“Speaking of choice, what kind of bad idea has a grown man in a room alone with a young girl, using his position of authority and his toxic masculinity to browbeat her?”

“I never touched her or said nothing!” Olsen huffed, suddenly defensive. “It’s being recorded.”

“Says you,” spat my new hero. “This is inappropriate, and it stops now.”

“We need to find her parents. This is a matter of life and death.”

“You know the rules.”

“For fuck’s sake, we just need to talk to her. She’s not being charged,” blustered Olsen.

The woman eyed me. “Do you know where your parents are?”

I shook my head.

“There you go. Find someone else to question. We’re leaving.”

I rose from my chair and grabbed my bag, only to have Olsen hold out his hand. “We’ll need your phone and computer.”

“But they’re mine.” I hugged my bag.

My social worker added, “Get a warrant.”

As if those were magical words, Olsen held out a sheaf of papers with a triumphant grin. “Got it right here. Hand it over.”

I relinquished my phone and laptop. There went my only link to the world. To my mom and dad. How would they call me?

“What’s the password to get in?” he immediately asked as he turned on my cell.

“She doesn’t have to answer that. We’re done here. Let’s go, Abigail.” She exited the room, and I followed the social worker who’d yet to introduce herself.

“The nerve of them,” she muttered as she led me out of the police station, through a side entrance apparently used for more delicate cases involving kids or abuse. Would have been nice if they’d brought me in that way.

“Sit in the front,” she said when I paused by the side of the car. “I’m Cassidy, by the way. Sorry I didn’t get here quicker. I got caught in traffic.”

“What’s going to happen to me?”

“That kind of depends on your parents.”

“Detective Olsen said they’re looking for them.”

“Do you know where they are?” Cassidy asked.

“No.” Even if I did, I’d never rat them out.

“If they do contact you, Abigail, you need to tell someone right away.” Her worried glance told me what she thought.

My chin jutted in defiance. “My parents aren’t the Pentagram Killers.”

Again, Cassidy paused before saying, “My understanding is they have quite a bit of evidence.”

“That video is a fake.” I wrung my hands in my lap.

“I can’t speak on that, but I will note that they had no right to speak to you without a guardian or legal counsel present.”

“Doesn’t matter how many times they ask. I don’t know anything.”

“Be that as it may, law enforcement will still insist on speaking with you.”

Dread knotted my stomach. “When?”

“Once a lawyer is assigned. They’ll arrange an appointment. Probably in the morning.”

“Where am I sleeping tonight?” I really wanted to go home.

“We had to scramble to find a spot in the city. We had no fosters accepting kids your age, but there is a group home with a spare bed.”

That sounded horrifying. “Can’t I go to a friend’s house?” I didn’t have any family nearby. No grandparents or aunts and uncles. And, technically, I only had one kind-of friend. She’d been the new girl, too, and we’d hung out until she got a boyfriend.

“You’re underage, Abigail, which means the state has to care for you until a guardian is found.”

“Or my parents are proven innocent.”

“Until that happens, you will be put in the care of someone responsible.” Cassidy parked in front of a townhome that screamed: lived-in. The kid vaping on the stoop added an element of class. “Listen, Abigail. My file on you says you’re seventeen, right?”


“You only need to go where the state tells you until you turn eighteen.”

“That’s still months away,” I exclaimed.

“Barely any time,” she said, nodding and smiling as if I had agreed.

“I want to go home,” I huffed, panic welling inside me. “I want my bed. My pillow. My pajamas.”

“I’m sure we can get you some clothes.”

As if I’d settle for scraps. “I want to go home.”

“That’s not possible. Let’s go inside.”

It meant brushing past the kid vaping, who said nothing, just eyeballed us. I wanted to run away, screaming. Instead, I remained quietly tucked behind Cassidy as a wide woman pulled open the door, her hair falling out of a messy bun.

“Hey, Joleene.” Cassidy waved. “I’ve got a temporary for you.”

Joleene took one look at me and shook her head. “Oh, hell no you don’t, Cassidy. You ain’t putting Slaughter Daughter in my house.”

The term caught my attention.

“She’s harmless,” Cassidy declared.

“Says you. How do we know she’s not a killer?”

The attack on my character had me huffing. “I would never hurt anyone.”

Joleene scowled. “But your parents would, and they haven’t been caught yet.”

“It probably won’t be long.” Cassidy’s statement lacked confidence.

“What if they come here looking for her? What if they kill me and all the children in our beds? No. I won’t do it.” Joleene shook her head vehemently, hard enough that her sloppy bun listed fully to the side.

“I’ve got nowhere else to put her,” Cassidy pled.

“If she’s so harmless, put her on your own damned couch.” Joleene went back inside, slamming the door.

Cassidy sighed.

The kid on the steps looked right at me, eyed me up and down, and sneered. “She’s no killer.”

Nope, and yet the name Slaughter Daughter stuck.