“Blowing Off Steam.” From A Woman Unbecoming.

“Ghosts of Candies Past.” From Literally Dead

“Dump Truck.” From the anthology Monsters, Monsters, Monsters, Monsters

“Next Best Baker.” From Baker’s Dozen. (I also did the foreword.)

“Cherry Tree.” From Battered, Broken Bodies

“Ghetto Blaster.” From Attack From The ’80s. 

“Turn Me.” From An Unholy Thirst.

“My Favorite Halloween Memory.” From Halloween Nights: Tales of Autumn Fright.  

“Mouthy.” From The Southwest Review

“The Body Hidin’ Spot.” From Georgia Gothic

“Devil-Powered Death Train of Doom.” From Fright Train

“Do You Believe In Tragic?” from Rock & Roll Nightmares: Along Comes Scary. 



“Pink Passion” in Brewtality. When a tough stranger goes into a rough bar and orders a girly drink, things get interesting.

“Lost Gator” in Tales of the Lost.It sure sucks when you lose a giant alligator, huh? I hope the dude in this story finds his.

“All I Want For Christmas Is Your Two Front Teeth” in Christmas Horror, Volume 3. A demented holiday desire goes horribly awry.

“The Things Whittier Couldn’t Do” in Wittier Than Thou. John Greenleaf Whittier might have been a fine poet, but you wouldn’t want to rely on him for medical attention.

“Clickers vs. Mandibles: The Tale of an Unwritten Saga” in Clickers ForeverHalf non-fiction, half short-story. This tells of the Clickers Vs. Mandibles novel that I never wrote with J.F. Gonzalez.
“Shock Collar” in Collected Horror Drabbles. A short story of exactly 100 words, written for an anthology of all stories of exactly 100 words.
“Coping Mechanism” in Into Painfreak. One of my only efforts at writing in somebody else’s world (the world of Gerard Houarner’s Painfreak).
“Hologram Skull Cover” in Mister October, Volume Two. This story was written as a tribute to Rick Hautala and his bestselling novel Night Stone, which had one of those hologram skull covers that were so beloved in ’80s horror.



Freaky Briefs: 75 Short Absurdities

  • The Douchebag Who Reneged on the Death Pact
  • Fresh Fish
  • Clicking the Heart
  • The Wrong Dentist
  • The Skull Within
  • CraniumVision
  • Headspin
  • Oh No! Don’t Eat Me! (A Chocolate Bunny Tale)
  • Thrill Ride
  • The First Cannibals
  • What’s in the Box?
  • Jock Magnum, Manatee Hunter
  • Bernie
  • Beaks
  • The Guy Who Didn’t Want to Murder Anybody With a Hammer
  • Bummer Tarot Reading
  • Pull My Finger
  • Crazy’s Ralph’s Used Car Emporium
  • Home With a Future
  • The Tell Tale Heart II: Aftermath
  • A Story I’m Writing While Being Devoured by a Lion
  • Make a Wish
  • Long Sleeves
  • Fast Zombies Vs. Slow Zombies
  • Scrape and Scoop
  • How’s My Driving?
  • Granny’s Got an Ice Pick
  • A Story for the Dude on the Plane Who Keeps Looking at My Laptop Screen
  • And There Was a Metal Hook
  • Box of Chocolates
  • The Frostbite Movie
  • Breakthrough
  • Ten Little Babies
  • Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts
  • The Night I Realized Halfway To The Pavement Below That I Was Not, In Fact, Superman
  • Helen Gets Permanently Traumatized
  • A Real Haunting
  • Vegan Training
  • Guillotine
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Murders at Camp Crystal Lake
  • Chick
  • Quicksand
  • It’s Drabble Time!
  • The Most Entertaining Man in the Elevator
  • Wrongful Death Payday
  • Jigsaw Puzzle
  • The Satisfying Crunch of Bones Beneath My Feet
  • Laundry Day
  • All The Cheese In The World
  • Not Enough Coins
  • Impressionable
  • Below Deck
  • The Cat Who Was Super Smart For A Cat But Pretty Dumb By Human Standards
  • The Blind Men And The Elephant: A Parable
  • Bradley Goes Crunch
  • Dusted
  • Intervention
  • Telemedicine
  • The Soupville Stabber Practices Social Distancing
  • Bunny Ears
  • The Tragic Tale of Slappy McWankerville
  • Abner Wederman, Ribald Ostrich
  • Last One In
  • Too Meta 2 Live
  • Steps
  • Santa Claus Kills 2020
  • Yak Attack
  • Job Reference
  • The Man Without Nails
  • Comeback
  • The Last Egg
  • Six Cents a Word
  • Encore
  • Making the Most of It
  • After
  • Corky & Snorky
  • What’s on Second?

Candy Coated Madness

  • Virtual Reality Kill Zone
  • Good Deeds
  • Captain Pistachio’s Charming Rampage
  • The Last Thing You Want To Be
  • Lab Experiment Turf War
  • No Tomato
  • Clyde the Necrophile
  • Don’t Make Fun of the Haunted House
  • Ivan’s Night Out
  • Pointy Canes
  • Giant Mutant Cockroaches in the Old West Vs. Zombies
  • Outpouring
  • Smashing Jacks
  • Faerie
  • Green Suits
  • The Fraud
  • Hostile
  • The Great Stone Face Vs. The Gargoyles
  • Parody
  • Awakening
  • Dismemberment Fraud
  • Beware! The! Beverage!
  • Rotten Eggs
  • Gave Up The Ghost
  • December Birthday
  • My Werewolf Neighbor

Everything Has Teeth

  • The Tipping Point
  • Nails
  • Stumps
  • John Henry, The Steel Drivin’ Man
  • Fair Trade
  • Chiggers
  • Cry
  • The Fierce Stabbing and Subsequent Post-Death Vengeance of Scooter Brown
  • It’s Bath Time!
  • Alien Face
  • Apocalypse of the Yard Gnome
  • Dead Bigfoot on the Lawn
  • Gross-Out: The Return
  • Deformed Son
  • The Origin of Slashy
  • Secret Message (Decoded)
  • The Sentient Cherry Cola That Tried to Destroy the World
  • The Eggman Falleth
  • The Story of My First Kiss
  • Dad (A True Story)
  • Bad Bratwurst
  • The Loneliest Jackalope *
  • Inside the Boxes *
  • The Car *
  • Scrumptious Bone Bread *
  • A Flawed Fantasy *
  • A Bit of Christmas Mayhem *
  • The Car *

(The stories marked with * appear only in the paperback edition. The others appeared in the digital-only Dead Clown Barbecue Expansion Pack.)

Dead Clown Barbecue

  • Pett Semmuteary
  • Comeuppance
  • The Apocalypse Ain’t So Bad
  • The Bell…FROM HELL!!!
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Stop Stabbing Me
  • Eight-Legged Vengeance
  • The Drop
  • Here’s What Happened…
  • Pregnancy Test
  • Mr. Twitcher’s Miracle Baby-Chopping Machine
  • The Carver
  • Push the Button
  • Specimen 313
  • My Knife Collection
  • Drain Bamage
  • Gramma’s Corpse
  • Burden
  • Rough Draft
  • Fangboy and the Troll
  • Dead in the Water
  • Immunity
  • The Big Bite
  • We Believe
  • Poor Career Choice
  • True Hero
  • Chomp (A Cautionary Tale)
  • The Severed Nose
  • Dummy

Gleefully Macabre Tales

  • Really, Really Ferocious
  • Socially Awkward Moments With An Aspiring Lunatic
  • High Stakes
  • Special Features
  • Sex Potion #147
  • The Three Little Pigs
  • Everything Has a Purpose
  • Them Old West Mutations
  • Wasting Grandpa
  • A Bite For a Bite
  • Glimpses
  • Common Sense
  • Gross-Out!
  • Bad Coffee
  • Werewolf Porno
  • An Admittedly Pointless But Mercifully Brief Story With Aliens In It
  • Munchies
  • Roasting Weenies By Hellfire
  • Quite a Mess
  • I Hold the Stick
  • Scarecrow’s Discovery
  • Howard, the Tenth Reindeer/Howard Rises Again
  • BrainBugs
  • Cap’n Hank’s Five Alarm Nuclear Lava Wings
  • A Call For Mr. Potty-Mouth
  • The Bad Man in the Blue House
  • Abbey’s Shriek
  • The Socket
  • One of Them
  • Secret Message
  • Mr. Sensitive
  • The Bad Candy House
  • Disposal

38 Responses to “SHORT WORKS”

  1. James Says:


    Woohoo, I found it! I shall now undertake to read it from start to finish.


  2. Mark R. Says:

    HEY JEFF! Nice to see you’re actually making a name for yourself! 🙂

    I just related the sad, sad story of Planet Relish’s demise to an acquaintance, who was dumbfounded that there could be such a thing as “humorous horror.” I thought, what better example than our highest-rated horror story of all time, “High Stakes” by Jeff Strand. In the process I think I snagged you another new fan! I’ll be charging my usual fee, of course, so you’ll hear from our accounts receivable department shortly….


    • jeffstrand Says:

      Planet Relish made me what I am today. Had you not published “High Stakes,” I would be spending my evenings lying in a gutter, chewing on old newspapers for the ink. But now I live in a palace made of solid pewter, with one personal servant for each appendage. I don’t even have to write my own books anymore. I just pay this guy, Ralph, who is so thankful that I didn’t drop him into the shark tank that he’ll write whatever I want. (He’s not very good, but I’ve hit a level of success where the actual quality of the books is irrelevant.) It’s a good life. Thanks, Mark and Planet Relish!


  3. Jim Says:

    My goal for 2011 is to read everything on this list.

    Including “Dead in the Water” and “Rough Draft,” (not listed above) I make the count 44. Thanks to the most excellent collection “Gleefully Macabre Tales” I’ve got a big head-start.

    I’ve got only 13 to go. 5 of those may be a bit problematic, but the rest may just require me shelling out some money for a few books and back-issues.


    • jeffstrand Says:

      If your goal is to obtain a complete collection, then I salute your valiant quest.

      If you just wanna read ’em, let me know which stories you’re missing and I’ll send you the .doc files.


      • Jim Says:

        Oh, sure, do it the easy way!!!

        Seriously though, thanks! I don’t want to collect them. I just want to read them, enjoy them, and read them again. An email is imminent.

        You know, several hours of Googling, searching web archives, checking Cleveland Public Library, etc. and it never occurred to me to just ask. Ha! Though I have unearthed some good interviews, a few that maybe you wish you hadn’t, and the first three issues of Insidious Reflections in pdf format.


      • Jim Says:

        OK, I thought I was on to something, but I hit another snag. The Browne Popular Culture Library at BGSU only has one issue of Liquid Ohio (Spring 2001) and isn’t sure where there might be archived copies, outside a personal collection. I don’t “myspace” so I’m not positive, but it appears the LiquidOhio friends page hasn’t had activity in about 5 years.

        I felt pretty good about getting that far. I will not be denied!!


  4. Jim Says:


    A tale of vengeance gone awry. I couldn’t decide if I felt sorry for the protagonist, or if I wished he would have taken a few more beatings.


    • Jim Says:

      Hmmm, “Comeuppance,” and “Eight-Legged Vengeance.” Hostility issues? Neighbor’s dog spending a little too much quality time on your front lawn?


  5. Jim Says:

    “Gramma’s Corpse.”

    Jeff, you’re either a certifiably deranged sociopath or a seriously under-recognized genius!

    No one else could have taken such a repulsive, repugnant story premise and turned it into such a breathtakingly compelling classic fright-fest.

    I’ve only read it twice, so far.


    • jeffstrand Says:

      Thanks! When I started writing that story, I’d planned for it to be a dark comedy, but I ended up playing it straight.

      One of my favorite “live reading” moments was reading this story at Necronomicon and getting an audible gasp from the audience when her eye popped open.


  6. Jim Says:

    OK, either I’m reading too much horror, or not getting enough sleep, or both! While I was packing up the Christmas decorations from the front yard, I was sure the inflatable Santa, polar bear and penguin were talking to me while I was trying to stuff them into the boxes. And they were none too happy with me.

    I suppose if I were someone creative, that could maybe be fleshed out into an interesting short. Meanwhile I’m keeping an eye on those boxes…


  7. Jim Says:

    “The Apocalypse Ain’t So Bad.”

    Take a little Andrew Mayhem, a little Benjamin, and add a dash of Annie (…the sun will come out, tomorrow…) and you have the main character of this tale, hapless but ever positive survivor of the end of the world.

    This short has some of the funniest lines I’ve read in some time! “They can take away my freedom. They can take away my arm. They can take away my life. But they won’t take away my smile until they eat my lips.”

    I was reading it at lunch and laughed so hard I about shot rice out of my nose! (It wouldn’t have made me very popular with the cleaning staff.)

    Since I’m reading these in no particular order, it’s hard to say they keep getting better and better, but I don’t think there’s been a dud in the bunch!

    “I wanted to applaud, but…well, you know…”


  8. Jim Says:

    OK, proof that I’m not on Mr. Strand’s payroll, I have two stories I read last week that disappointed me.

    “Burden.” I believe the word he used was unpleasant, and I think that is extremely accurate. Enough said.

    “The Big Bite.” A good short over-all, but to me it just didn’t feel right? Great premise, good dialog, quirky, but it was missing something; the alchemy that sparks his creations from good to great. It had all the elements, but in the end I kept thinking ghost writer.


    • jeffstrand Says:

      You bastard!!!

      What didn’t you like about “Burden?” Was it a lousy story, or was it just the “not fun” tone? It’s certainly not a cheery tale…

      No ghostwriter for “The Big Bite!” In the first two reviews I read of MONSTROUS, one singled it out as the best story in the collection, and the other said it was one of the worst. It’s obviously not meant to be anything more than a fun little story.


      • Jim Says:

        I’m betting I’m not going to get by on this with an “I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me…”


      • jeffstrand Says:

        No! Explain your hatred!


      • Jim Says:

        [Hanging head] Sorry, everyone.

        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.
        I will not hate Jeff’s stories.

        Whew… 490 times to go…


      • jeffstrand Says:

        Criticism is acceptable in these parts! (At least from the regulars.)


  9. Jim Says:

    Then we circled around and back to the good stuff!

    “Here’s What Happened…” My copy of Waiting For October finally arrived, and not a moment too soon. An epic story being related by the narrator, who keeps getting interrupted by the listener (I feel for you, brother!) Funny stuff.

    “This Skit is Extinct,” “The Lust-Mobile,” and “The Cigar Store.” Early works that homage some of Jeff’s muses and inspirations. Despite what he might think, these are not at all bad, and it’s neat to see how far his talent has progressed.

    “Poor Career Choice.” OK, I actually read this before, but, hey, it’s Andrew Mayhem, and it’s good!


  10. Jim Says:

    One of the fun things about the internet is that often pages don’t get deleted, and can be unearthed years later. Posted in May/June of 2001 is the story, “High Stakes.”

    If you haven’t read Gleefully Macabre Tales (and why haven’t you!) then you can find this short at:


    • jeffstrand Says:

      King Tut’s tomb, and then “High Stakes.” Humanity can find ANYTHING!


    • Jim Says:

      I also found a page with “I hold the Stick,” but didn’t share that one. At the rate I was turning up pages, people would have just come here to read Gleefully Macabre Tales.


  11. Jim Says:

    Two more winners this week, neither in the above list.

    “Cub Scout Gore Feast.” This is one of the extras that can be found in the digital edition of “Draculas.” A cub scout camp-out. A scary story around the campfire. It is just a story, isn’t it?

    “The Cover.” Printed in issue #10 of Necrotic Tissue. Tired of paperbacks with lackluster covers, a man sets out to confront the photographer creating these inferior products. What he finds may change his life.


  12. Jim Says:

    Barely into the second quarter, and I realized this evening that I’m almost through with my quest. According to this list, and including the extras I found and posted about, I only need 2: Drain Bamage, and the forthcoming Specimen 313.

    (This does not include the round robin stories, which you have repeatedly advised me NOT to read. 🙂


  13. Jim Says:

    Anything new on the anthology RELICS & REMAINS? Seems that it is a bit overdue, as is another anthology they were to have put out the first half of the year.


  14. Jim Says:

    With just over 2 months to go, I’ve done it! (

    I finished my last story, Drain Bamaged at 9:33am today. Unless there is something in the pipeline, and I’m told there usually is, I have finished the complete short story list (avoiding the round robins as instructed.)

    I don’t think I could have picked a better story to hold for last. Powerful stuff! TOTALLY did not see where it was leading and when it took me there, I had one of those rare “Oh, WOW!” moments. Definitely a slam dunk, and once again worth the price of the anthology if I don’t read another story from it.

    It seems to me that this milestone requires some sort of celebratory acknowledgement, although I have no idea what that could be? I guess I’ll go top off my coffee.


  15. Jim Says:

    Speaking of THE ORIGIN OF SLASHY, (we were speaking of SLASHY, weren’t we?) I see the digital version of CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY? is available on Amazon


  16. Jim Says:

    Wow, and INSIDE THE BOXES is up for grabs in ATTIC TOYS, which just came out in digital this week


  17. Jim Says:

    And in case you missed it, WORK/LIFE BALANCE hit the digital shelf a few months back in HELP! WANTED—Job-ebook


  18. Jim Says:


    TIN CANS looks like it may happen yet, there still appears to be activity with CADENCE IN DECAY. Not so sure about CHOMP! (A CAUTIONARY TALE) though, RELICS & REMAINS seems to have gone AWOL. Not finding any updates on the book in the last year.


  19. Jim Says:

    Well, it’s taken a while, but I finally scored a copy of DEATHGRIP: EXIT LAUGHING. Now I can finally view THE SOCKET in its natural habitat!


  20. jeffstrand Says:

    Wow! How’d you get that?


    • Jim Says:

      I’ve got an automated search on eBay to watch for your listings since so many of them are OOP and I’ve got digital copies only of a couple of them. This one caught in the sieve (and I got it for a pittance.) A bonus to an overall good week.


  21. Maureen Says:

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