Short story: “Great Oak”
by look i have opinions
“Great Oak,” by Jason Rush
Featured in Pseudopod episode 460, October 16th, 2015
Maybe 4,000 words?
Predictable but good. As Alasdair Stuart says, the horror lies in the choice to go on like this rather than risk the unknown.
One basic thing that makes this story work is that it introduces the protagonist when he’s going home to his partner. So we start out understanding that he’s a desperate but basically gentle person, and when we find out what he’s doing, we carry that understanding with us.