Siren Publishing, $3.50, ISBN 1-933563-11-7
Paranormal Erotica, 2007
Zara Benjamin realizes that she may have a crush on her friend Quincy Powers when, shortly after, the elevator doors open and she finds herself falling down the elevator shaft to her death. Oops.
Quincy is gay, and he has a thing for Zara’s twin brother Zack. Meanwhile, Zack has entertained illicit thoughts about Quincy before, but he has never has the chance to act on the attraction.
Zara is given a chance by two angels to return to “fulfill her desires with the man she loves”. The catch is, she will be inhabiting Zack’s body in that meantime. Perhaps, as Quincy tries to fulfill Zara’s dream of opening a gay nightclub named after her, Zach’s bartending skills may provide the push, with Zara’s help, to bring those two men together.
Don’t worry, folks, this story isn’t as outlandish or weird as you’d think from my synopsis. Zara doesn’t take over Zach’s free will – now that would be really disquieting indeed. Instead, this story is an interesting twist on the usual ménage à trois formula.
The thing is, the actual story isn’t as interesting as the concept of this story. Zara, Zack, and Quincy are likable characters, but because of the length of this short story, they never really have the opportunity to develop into more well drawn characters. The subplot about Zara and the angels is treated in a superficial manner – it is a hook for a series, but as a hook it doesn’t really intrigue me enough to make me want to read the next stories in the series. Perhaps those stories would be better than this one, who knows, but as a hook in this story, it isn’t a successful one where I am concerned.
Zack and the Dark Shaft has an interesting concept and it manages to be something different from the usual gay or threesome stuff out there. But at the same time, it is a little too underdeveloped for my liking. The title is the most memorable thing about this one.