“The Summer Place” — Bob Fingerman

Bob Fingerman is the author of several works of zombie mayhem, including the recent novel Pariah and the graphic novels Zombie World: Winter’s Dregs and Recess Pieces (which has been described as “The Little Rascals meets Dawn of the Dead”). Other recent works include an illustrated novella called Connective Tissue and the post-apocalyptic “speculative memoir” From the Ashes. His first novel was Bottomfeeder and other graphic novel work—for which Fingerman also provided the art—includes Beg the Question, You Deserved It, and Minimum Wage. Fingerman has also provided art for periodicals such as Heavy Metal and The Village Voice and did covers for Dark Horse and Vertigo Comics.

Fire Island, just off the southern coast of Long Island, is a bit of a mystery—no one really knows how it got its name. Historian Richard Bayles has proposed that the name resulted from a confused understanding of the Dutch term for “Five Islands,” as there are a number of small islands in the vicinity. Other stories suggest that the name comes from the fires built by pirates to lure passing ships onto the sandbars, or from the island’s rich autumn foliage, or even from the rashes caused by the poison ivy that grows there.

Our next story, as you might have guessed, takes place on Fire Island. “My wife and I used to rent a summerhouse on Fire Island and it struck me what a great setting for a horror story it would be during the off-season,” Fingerman says. “Come October it’s pretty desolate. And there are no cars. It’s a weird place, like a sand-strewn version of The Village from the old series The Prisoner.”

Fingerman never was a bike messenger like the protagonist, but as with much of his work, elements of autobiography found their way into the protagonist’s personality. One way they’re alike is that they both have some sympathy for zombies. “They didn’t ask to be what they are and even though they want to eat humans, there’s no malice,” he says. “They’re the average schmuck of the monster world. I can relate.”