We didn’t run blindly, of course. I was heading towards the church. I had a feeling Father William would know a little bit about how to deal with ghosts.
All I could do was slash at them, and that wasn’t going to work without a spell to make my sword affect spirits. Which I didn’t have and hadn’t thought to get.
I’d been expecting zombie hordes, after all, not ghost hordes. I should have thought of ghosts.
We got about halfway there before the ghosts thickened around us, and became – not solid enough to affect, but they were impeding us, it was like moving through a thick substance that, while we could still breathe it, no longer felt like air.
“Now would be a good time to open bifrost if I knew how.” No matter how much trouble it might get me into.
“Unless he already did.”
I shook my head. Whatever he’d opened, I was pretty sure he’d only loosed damned souls, not saved ones. “I think he managed to get Hell after all.”
“Nah,” came a voice. “I got all of them.” Anansi moved through the ghosts, who parted. “But this didn’t work quite as planned. So…”
He lifted a hand and the ghosts started to dissipate.
“What, you didn’t think about the fact that you couldn’t give them all bodies?”
Kanesha was still clinging to me, but as the ghosts faded out, she stepped away.
“Oh, I could, but I suppose…I thought more people were reincarnated. Oh well. It was a test run. I’ll work it out.”
“So, what? You want to free everyone from Death?”
“Of course I do. Can you imagine what immortal humans could achieve? How much more wisdom they’d gain?”
“Odin has more wisdom in his toenails than you, and he knows better.” I wasn’t sure I really knew that, but it sounded good. And I also knew how Odin had gained it.
“No, he just wants to keep it all for himself.”
“Odin knows enough to know that even the gods have to be subject to death.”
“And don’t you want her to live forever?” He stepped forward and tried to reach out for Kanesha.
She slapped him. “I don’t want to live forever. I know better.”
“Ah, but I could do it right now. One person, that’s easy. Everyone, that’s going to be harder.”
I looked at him. “Give it up, Anansi. You’re out of line and you know it. You’re afraid.”
“My web keeps me safe.”
“For now.” I knew threatening him was a bad idea.
But what I wanted was the artifact.
“And you just want the artifact. For your own purposes…to do what? Get power ahead of time?”
I almost, in that moment, told him the truth. “No. I just want you to stop.”
Which really was what I wanted. The ghosts were still there, in the edges between light and darkness.
But Hel could fix it. If I could only get the artifact.