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A Forest, or a Tree

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews
"A Forest, or a Tree" is a nightmarish horror story from author Tegan Moore, a Original.

Four friends, May, Piper, Ailey, and Elizabeth, go on a camping trip. Things slowly begin to go wrong.

It was just the four of them, four girls alone in the forest.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
ebook, 30 pages
Published June 26th 2019 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it

this explanation/intro will be posted before each day’s short story. scroll down to get to the story-review.

this is the FOURTH year of me doing a short story advent calendar as my december project. for those of you new to me or this endeavor, here’s the skinny: every day in december, i will be reading a short story that is 1) available free somewhere on internet, and 2) listed on goodreads as its own discrete entity. there will be links provided for those of you who l
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is on my list of the Best Short SFF of June 2019: ...more
Michael Sorbello
Four friends, May, Piper, Ailey and Elizabeth go on a camping trip to enjoy nature and share scary stories. There's the rational one, the perverted one, the bashful one and the nature-lover; each girl has a very distinct personality and their clashing attitudes made for some funny banter that I honestly wish lasted longer. The story worked best when it focused on comedy and banter, discussing memes in a dark, haunted forest was entertaining, but didn't exactly make for excellent pure horror mate ...more
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Dangit people, if you're going to have a story with this much potential, do it the service of a) giving it an ending, and b) not dating it with overspecific references. ...more
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shades of Blair Witch and The Ritual. I'd like to see it as a longer piece, and I think it could honestly be effective as a novella. ...more
there are things in the woods that don’t want people here.”


well okay.

the premise was good. i’ll give it that. four girls go camping in the woods. pitch tents, tell scary stories around the campfire, and hike to pretty waterfalls and places of interest etc.

and as always, shit hits the fan.

i liked the banter back and forth between the girls. the mention of subreddits lmao and the foul language. it made things kind of seem authentic. (and if read ten years from now, maybe a little dated?)
Francesca Forrest
Came to this after reading "John Simnel's First Goshawk" --a short story that blew me away with its power and beauty--by the same author. This one I'm less enthusiastic about. I enjoyed the characterization of the four girls, their conversation, and the gradual ratcheting up of things going wrong, but when the story devolved into a straight-out monster story, I lost interest. I'm just profoundly uninterested in monsters qua monsters. Definitely a case of YMMV. ...more
Rebecca Crunden
There was something awful, May thought, awful in the original sense of the word, about looking up.

The cover totally caught my eye, but I felt like the story itself needed more.
Jonathan Pongratz
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-story, horror
Original Review at Jaunts & Haunts


I give this short story three and a half stars!

I haven't read too many scary camp stories, but it's a niche in the horror genre I really love, so I had to check this out. I boosted this read with camp sounds and nighttime forest sounds to really get the ambience going. 

I did enjoy this read despite some flaws that I couldn't overlook during my experience. 

Starting off positive, the characters. 

The characters worked very well for me. These four girls are cle
Uma    | Books.Bags.Burgers
The premise was really interesting but

(a) What was that ending?
(b) the white author kept fixating on May being a PoC and how her skin was. May compares her skin tone to the other girls at the most random point? I'm not really sure but she felt like the token black character.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories, 2019
this story definitely has its moments, but since the first 3/4 is so dialogue-heavy, this really prevented the story from building any sort of tone or atmosphere. (the fact that much of the dialogue reads like it came straight out of tumblr probably didn't help its case, either.)

however, the prose - when it was allowed to shine - was gorgeous. it was visceral and poetic; moore paints a picture quite masterfully with her words:

There was no trail, per se. Deer tracks cut through the heaped undergr
Elle Maruska
Aug 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick and entertaining scary story about girls camping in the woods and all the nasty things waiting for them.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
That's it? That's the end? ...more
Katrina Fox
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it
It was an entertaining story, but I wish there was more.
Mila Elizabeth
Oct 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Interesting read, certainly has a Creepypasta feel to it, save for the POV. Loved the concept of the creature.
Sep 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
Extremely creepy and atmospheric.
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
For the first third of this story, it was less than one star. The dialogue is ridiculous, childish, uninspired, and insulting to the reader's intelligence. Did they really just explain to us what a meme is? And get it wrong on top of that?
Also much of what was said didn't actually make sense. It was as though the author just spilled words onto the page to fill a quota and to quickly get to the next part without actually giving any thought as to what was said. This is apparent in the part where
Courtney the Great
Great dialogue and creepy imagery that comes to a rather abrupt and ambiguous ending that may have been better served by a longer page count.
Aug 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A novella with the promise of a good story but with a climax that falls flat. I get open-ended endings, leaving things on a hook, but there's a way of doing it that doesn't annoy the reader. Moore's writing goes from realism to overly vague description which also doesn't help the sudden end. Overall it came off as one of the more middling stories you'd find on r/nosleep, which the author surely frequents based on the constant references to reddit. For a short, free story give it a go, but if you ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
It was okay, but I'm finding that more and more newer stories, I guess in order to reflect how younger generations behave*, have weird interludes that clash with the flow of the story or simply mess with the premise, especially when it's a horror story. This one is kind of self-aware about it, but still.

I mean, reading about people arguing about what a meme is or about the internet, instead of making the story seem more real like the scene in the original Star Wars where Obi-Wan eavesdrops on tw
Dec 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended by legendary Goodreads user @karen in her annual December Project as a quick & dirty way to meet my yearly challenge, A Forest, or A Tree is a spooky piece of short fiction about four young women on a camping trip where things start going horribly wrong. I think this story has so much potential. I quickly got a sense of character and place, as well as a real experience of ominous mood that propelled me forward seeking answers. I’m deducting a star for an abrupt ending that left me wi ...more
Tiffany Lynn Kramer
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I get why most people have issues with the ending, I certainly would have liked more but so much of this worked for me. The dialogue between the four women was instantly enjoyable and kept things moving. Then there were those creepy moments, while few they worked effectively. I also appreciated the sad truth of the end. We've come a long way but people will always distrust the unfamiliar and let it blind them to true dangers. ...more
Beth Roberts
I agree with some of the other readers. I loved the premise and the ambiance. The tension builds nicely. However, the vague abruptness of the ending is a bit off-putting. I wanted more backstory. Why would May be singled out? I felt like there was supposed to be a message there and I missed it.

Actual rating: 3.5
Free from
Tara B
Jan 21, 2020 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable while reading, couldn't stop reading so I was thrown off when I got to the end. It was just suddenly more story. I think the author was trying to leave the reader in suspense to add to the creepiness. But it didn't. It left me feeling like I just read the sampler of a bigger book or the writer hit their max word count and just stopped there. ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
A horror story involving four women on a hiking trip in the woods. I am not a fan of horror stories but this was well written and interesting although things seemed to happen which made no sense and the story had no real end. The racial element also seemed unnecessary and forced.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was fun to read. It took me a while to take to the characters, but the dialogue is really well-written and that helped to set them apart.
Overall this short story is very diverting, but I agree with my fellow reviewers; the ending feels like half the story is missing.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
That's a big nope for me. ...more
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice and creepy.
Read it at
Alex Sarll
Lumberjanes if the girls (and even the monsters) weren't all so nice, or Get Out with the folk horror amped up, or just that old story about the poor fools who go too deep into the wrong woods. ...more
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shorts
A fun, creepy story, verging on camp really. Minus one star because it didn't have a conclusion. I definitely would've preferred it to be longer. ...more
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Tegan Moore is an author and a professional dog trainer.

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