Worth His Salt is part of the Tattooed Corpse Stories – a series of short stories that have nothing in common except that the same body appears in each story.
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.
Mo stared at the stranger. There was something not right with him. As he held the door open, the man drew a sign in the air, blew out a breath, and then crossed the threshold.
“Rough night?” Mo took in the soaked clothes, his reddish hair clinging to his forehead, and the wide hazel eyes. He was young, smallish, and entirely out of place in Mo’s cottage.
The man shrugged. “Not the best night for a walk in the moonlight.”
He had that right. “Do you want me to call a taxi for you? Or perhaps you have someone who can come pick you up…your mother?” How old was he? He could still be living with his parents.
“My mother? No thank you; I’m trying to avoid her at all costs.”
“Oh…” Mo tried to decipher the look the man gave him.
“You’re alive? I mean you’re living here?”
“Yes.” Mo crossed his arms over his chest. He didn’t need some kid judging his home. It wasn’t much, but it had been in his family for generations, and he loved his cottage.
“What’s your name?”
“No, my name is Mo…Vin.”
“Oh, there is no luck in the world, is there?” The kid grinned, and Mo ignored the way heat rushed to his groin. He was far too young for him anyway. “So Mo—Moses? Morris? Mo Mo Mozart?”
Mo uncrossed his arms only to cross them again. “No, just Mo.”
The kid shook his head. “Perhaps the world will be kinder in the next life.”
Mo snorted. “Yeah? So what’s your name?”
“Eldred Henstare.” He tilted his head to the side and watched Mo with unnerving intensity; then he shifted focus to the air above him.
“Eldred? And you talk about luck?” Mo went in through the narrow hall and towards the kitchen. He needed to get the kid out of here so he could crawl into bed. He’d been feeling a little off all day, and the roaring storm outside did nothing to help him warm up inside.
“Luck has nothing to do with it in my case.” Eldred hurried after him, shrugging off his jacket as he went. “Mother thought it a fitting name.” The jacket landed on one of the kitchen chairs with a wet thud, then Eldred pulled out another chair and slumped down. “Terrible weather.”