Eldred Henstare is a not so powerful witch who’s been left in charge of helping the city’s lingering spirits to move on. He usually handles it pretty well, but something’s wrong with the spirit leading him to the abandoned lighthouse.
Mo Vin likes his quiet life in the cottage next to the lighthouse, at least it’s quiet until one night when Eldred Henstare -- young, beautiful, and crazy -- arrives. After that night things aren’t the same. A man is found dead on the beach outside Mo’s cottage, and he’s almost sure he’s the one who killed him, except it doesn’t make sense. Why would he kill anyone?
Eldred needs to get rid of the ghost haunting Mo. If he doesn’t Mo’s life is in danger, but to do it he needs both Mo and his brother Lachtin to help out.
A new wave of energy washed over him, more intense than anything he’d experienced before, and he gritted his teeth around a hiss. He did not want to do this.
He touched his phone through his pocket, then double-checked that his other pocket was full of salt. The grains clung to the fabric and some of it trickled out when he slipped his fingers inside, but he didn’t care. Perhaps he should call Lachtin and tell him where he was.
Lachtin hated everything supernatural, but the intensity of what was out there had Eldred breaking out in sweat. Something wasn’t right with this spirit; it didn’t feel like they usually did.
Rubbing the salt off his fingers, he followed the energy call instead. Lachtin had been glaring at him all day so he probably already suspected Eldred was up to something.
An invisible rope yanked him forward over sand and slippery rocks, down on the beach and at one point into the water. Eldred stopped before he got knee deep. The spirit wasn’t trapped in the water, he didn’t know how he could be sure, but he was.
Could the spirit want me to go into the sea? No, ghosts weren’t sentient in that way. Most of them could talk, but they were trapped in their bubble of reality, they didn’t think about actions and consequences. It was probably that he was supposed to go to the other side of the bay and across the water was the shortest way. Unless it was a poltergeist. Eldred swallowed hard. He couldn’t take care of a poltergeist on his own.
No, it couldn’t be. Shrugging off the feeling of the ghost trying to control him, he continued alongside the shore until he came to a narrow path leading up across a barren meadow. Out on the headland, a dark lighthouse watched out over the waves.
Eldred hesitated. He did not want to go to the lighthouse. No lamps shone in the little cottage by the foot of the tower or in the lighthouse itself. An abandoned lighthouse ... Sometimes it sucked being the guardian of the city, not only did the spirits seek him out at the most inconvenient of times, they also lured him into places he had no desire to go.
The wind tore at his hair; his wet clothes were glued to his body. A strip of moonlight fell on the grass-covered area around the little cottage; a few gravestones were facing the horizon.
Nope, I’ll deal with this in the morning.
With a thudding heart, he whirled around to head back towards the city. Energy more intense than anything he’d experienced before smashed into him and he stumbled backwards. He’d heard tales of spirits trying to incapacitate the guardian to be able to roam freely in a region, but those were no ordinary spirits.
“Shit.” Eldred rubbed his heart. The area between his eyebrows burned despite the cold, and he flung out whatever energy he had stored to protect his aura.
Something was trying to force itself into his mind.
“Who are you?”
Eldred yelped, there was no better word for it. To his right, a dark, towering figure had appeared out of nowhere. He dug his hand into his pocket and threw a handful of salt at the fucker. “Into the white light!”
“Excuse me?” The figure spat on the ground. “I think it’s best if you leave my property.”
Eldred was sucking in breath after breath. He needed to cast a circle. He never should’ve gone alone.
“Are you all right, kid?”
“All right? Kid? Why are you here?”
The silence went on for a couple of seconds. “Because you’re on my lawn.”
Eldred looked down on the ground. The grass was neatly cut around him. When had he stepped off the meadow? The rain and wind were stinging his face, and he had a hard time thinking. He peered at the man, and it looked like a real, living, breathing man -- exactly the way Eldred wanted his men. He was probably in his late thirties, maybe early forties. It was hard to tell. Eldred’s pulse quickened. “Did you call me?” The energy had lessened again. Could a living man seek me out with an energy call?
“Call you? No. Perhaps you should come inside for a while, just so you don’t freeze your balls off.” The man’s voice was gruff but not threatening. Eldred filled his lungs, held the air inside for a few seconds, and visualised how he was being filled with pure protective light. “Yeah, that would be nice, thank you.”