‘Anskan House’ by Brian Evenson


From Redivider:

Sefton was just a boy when he first learned of Anskan house. He was walking home from school with his sister, four years older than he, when she veered from the usual path and took him instead through an older neighborhood, to the edge of their Midwestern town. She stopped before an old, fairly ordinary dilapidated house ringed by a broken picket fence, its grounds unkempt and littered with trash. She reached out and took his hand.

“What is it?” Sefton asked. “Why are we stopping here?”

“Anskan house,” Judith said. Or not that exactly. Something similar, a foreign word that he could not quite pronounce. In the years since, he had come to think of it as Anskan house.

“Does someone live there?” he asked.

Judith shook her head. “Not exactly,” she said. “Not in the way you mean.”

Confused, he asked “Why did you bring me here?”

She turned and looked at him for a long moment, then opened her mouth but for some reason did not speak. And then she took him home.

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