Halloween Flash Fiction by Azshure Raine #RebirthBookTour #RomanticFantasy

Halloween Flash Fiction 

Cold rain dripped down the shuttered windows. Bare apple trees stood unmoving in the late autumn storm. Liya clutched the edges of her hood, keeping it from blowing off as the winds picked up around her. She hadn’t expected to get caught in the storm. Her brothers had gone ahead of her along with Reve and she had taken a wrong turn.

Her heart raced in her chest as she edged through the dead orchard, trying to find signs of her home or family. No candlelight flickered in the distance, only darkness and lightning.

She was lost.

The basket in the crook of her elbow bounced against her side; the food within was soaked. Her shoulders shook as she tried desperately not to add to the water running down her face.

Thunder clapped and lightning lit up the trees. Liya froze. She stared wide-eyed at the wolf. Water drained down its snout, dripping over bared canines.

Taking a step back, her bare foot sank into the wet earth. The wolf edged closer, snarling.

She’s probably protecting her pups. Shaking, Liya took another step backward, her gaze locked on the predator.

Wind rushed through the trees, taking her hood and the rain with it.

The wolf rushed forward.

Liya yelped, threw the basket and ran.

Branches scrapped at her, pulling the fabric of her cloak, scraping through her sleeves, cutting into her skin. Sharp pricks of pain raced through her arms as she stayed barely ahead of the snarling wolf.

She screamed as the wolf’s jaw snapped around her ankle. Pain raced through her leg and she dropped to the unforgiving ground. Leaves and dirt coating her dress and hair. Sobbing, she kicked at the wolf still latched onto her.

Its heckles were peeled back. Blood dripped from its jaws as it released her leg.

Shielding her face with her hands, she squeezed her eyes closed waiting for the wild dog to rip into her.

Thunder crashed overhead.

A bright light filled the space between.

The wolf yelped.

Liya’s eyes snapped open. A ripple of shock rolled through her. A black clad man stood over her, facing the wolf.

Fire danced along the edge of a sword.

He swung at the animal. The wolf responded, snapping and snarling as he drove it back into the woods, the flames lighting his path. The predator finally whined and relented, darting back into the darkness.

The fire on the blade extinguished into hissing smoke as he sheathed it at his hip. The man turned. His face was completely covered, save for his eyes. Startling blue caught her gaze.

Liya’s heart skipped a beat.

He drew closer, keeping his hands out, letting her know he wasn’t a threat. He knelt at her feet and reached for her ankle.

She pulled away.

His gaze softened as he slowly drew his hand to his side, not the side where his sword was sheathed, but to a small pouch. He withdrew a long swatch of fabric and pointed to her ankle.

“You…you want to bandage it?” she edged out.

He nodded, holding the fabric.

“Oh-okay,” she said.

He immediately set to work and she watched him. His hands were unexpectedly gentle. Strands of brown hair peaked out through the fabric obscuring his features. A hood covered his head. He was a shadow, a phantom.

Something nagged in the back of her mind. She knew those eyes.

She asked, “Who are—”

“LI!” Reve’s voice broke through the trees. “Where are you!?”

Liya turned in the direction of her guardian’s voice to answer. “I’m here!” When she turned back the phantom was gone. A flush fell on her cheeks as she took in his handiwork. The wound on her ankle was wrapped with a little bow but the pain still lingered.

Reve came crashing through the woods, torch in hand. “Li! There you are!” Her gaze immediately went to the blood on the ground. “Are you hurt?”


“Little sister! What happened?!” Tokei, not far behind her, pushed past Reve and dropped to his knees beside Liya. The concern knitted on his face made her smile, just a bit. Sliding his arm under her back, he helped her to stand on the injured leg.

“I’m okay, I got lost in the woods. I was chased by a wolf—”

“Did the wolf do that to your ankle?” Reve interrupted.

“Yes but…” she trailed off, gazing into the trees, trying to spot her phantom. “I think I was saved by a ghost.”


Zodiac Series
Book One
Azshure Raine

Genre: Romantic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Mythological
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
Date of Publication: 7/25/23
ISBN: 979-8853443730
Number of pages: 389 pages
Word Count: 103k
Cover Artist: Azshure Raine

Tagline: One more, one last time

Book Description: 

Time is something we all have too much of and too little. Our world turns at the mercy of the clock. Gaea is one of those worlds. The world has been reset Twelve times.

ReBirth: Zodiac Book One is a romantic fantasy novel with “Final Fantasy” level storytelling. It tells the tale of the Gaea’s thirteenth cycle through multiple POVs, energetic prose, and deep world-building.

If Titans, Zodiac, Star-Crossed lovers, and villains you love to hate are your thing, then grab an apple, pick up a copy, and may Fate smile upon you.

Threads of gold, ancient and dangerous, pull them together; a bond neither can deny.

Jase Raion receives an unexpected assignment—locate and retrieve a girl he was certain was dead.

Expecting nothing, he goes to Brighton—a port town on the island of Aria—and finds her.

The girl who escaped the fall of Aria.

The girl who bears the symbol of Eternity.

The girl whose blood the Titan of Time thirsts for.

Liya Fairaway, the Princess of Aria, and his target.

The moment he sees her, he knows she is not safe, from the Zodiac meant to protect her, the Titan of Time, nor his father—the King of Chall.


Time gripped the spear’s shaft in her chest until her hand bled. A thousand years of being left pinned to the roots of the Mother Tree by Fate gnawed at her.

Groaning, she threw her head back, her long white hair dingy from the dirt and overgrowth. It stuck to the bark and pulled, causing stinging to roll through her skull.

Her chest heaved in frustration as she let out a primal scream before releasing the blood-red metal of the weapon. The tips pierced between her navel and breasts. She drew up the length of the captured arm with her free hand, tracing the tattoos with her blood. The red contrasted magnificently with the pale blue of her skin.

Throughout the twisted root cave, slivers of her power, thin golden threads, glittered across everything, waiting to catch prey in its nets.

Light at the end of the tunnel flickered, causing Time’s lips to curl into a devilish smile. Come to me. I could use the entertainment.

A rush of wind filled the hollow space, feathers scattering toward her in a kaleidoscope of black and white.

Time chuckled, low and deep. It’s her.

Her ex-lover stepped into the curtained sunlight and took slow, purposeful steps forward. Fate held her head high. Long black and white hair hung over her shoulders; the two colors parted directly down the middle. Time’s lip quivered as Fate ran her hand through her hair. Irresistible as ever. Her still gorgeous wings—one white, one black—spread behind her shoulders. Fate paused in the cavern and dismissed her wings with a flick of her wrist. Feathers rained down, disappearing into dust.

Time moved, her joints popping and her face twisting into a sinister grin. “Fate, my love, you’ve finally come,” she paused as a cloaked man peered into the cave, “to visit.”

So, she brought the rabble. How quaint.

Fate squared her shoulders. “I came to end this.”

“Is that so?” Time went slack; resting her free hand on the shaft of the Spear of Souls, tracing the metal with her gaze, she recalled the betrayal. How Fate and the Keepers cornered her, impaled her to the Mother Tree, and how the look of fear in the Keeper of Stars’ eyes when she sought her revenge before succumbing to the weapon and shattering him into twelve still gave her satisfaction. Like Mother Urth and Father Sky, he would never walk Gaea again. Time’s neck cracked as she focused on the man huddled at the entrance. The threads stretching through the darkness shifted as he entered. Time’s lips parted as she slid her tongue behind her teeth. “Then why did you bring him?”

The Prophet.

He was the key to her chains, as foretold by the Eternal Clock. The Prophet flinched at her low chuckle.

“Stay back,” Fate snapped before he could push past. “Whatever you do, don’t touch her.”

“Oh, please?” Time moaned, running her hand over her throat. “It has been so long.”

“Silence.” Fate placed her hand on the spear’s shaft, remaining out of Time’s reach. Thin wisps of charcoal smoke rolled over Fate’s shoulder, cascading down to the weapon, the ends darkening as death’s power inched toward Time. Resting her head on the bark, Time stared at the stray white hairs caressing her breasts. Slow, agonizing death was in her future.

The flash of blues and reds of the Prophet’s cloak caught her gaze as he paced uneasily behind Fate, his hand worrying at his chin.

Letting her head roll to the side, Time said, “I felt it, you know. When your daughter was born.”

About the Author:

Azshure Raine is a mostly stay-at-home mom of 3. She and her husband, Ryan, have been happily married for 13+ years and originally met in a MMO.

Her day job is sticking things to newborns, and by sticking things to newborns, she means hearing screens.

In her free time, she hangs out with her black cat, Luna, and keeps three small humans from killing each other. To maintain her sanity, she now writes. And she may or may not have a thing for apples.

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