Author's Note: So this is a writing contest entry for a forum called Labyrinth. Prompt: Start your story with this line: Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down…It had to be under 3000 words.

Beautiful With You

Silvery flakes drifted down, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird swooped down; its claws touched my face, but did not break the tender skin underneath. I closed my eyes; being under the harvest moon was truly one of the most magical times of the year.

Under the moon, I felt free.

Under the moon, I felt beautiful.

I was the type of girl who never felt beautiful with anyone until you came along. Rather, I was the type who hid from the crowds and would rather spend time in nature than with people. When you came around, things changed. You didn't see the girl who danced in the moon every night nor did you see the girl who tamed blackbirds. Instead, you saw a girl without a label.

I had never felt loved. My own parents never showed me love as they left me to die once they saw how close I was to nature. Whenever you tame a wild animal, it seemed like people got very concerned. I guess you weren't supposed to be able to sleep with a rattle snake.

However, whenever you looked at me that day in the school hallway and saw past the long dress and earth smelling girl, I knew you were worth keeping. Don't ask me how I knew, but it was just this feeling of belonging. It was a rather strange and new feeling for me. No one ever made me feel like I belonged.

After that first glance at each other, something amazing happened. You kept looking at me. I also noticed that you went out of your way to see me in the hallway; whenever you had class in the east wing, you would appear in the south wing where my English class was.

At first, I tried to make it look like I didn't notice you, but as time went on, I found myself wanting to be near you. I looked forward to passing you in the hallway each day. I knew that I needed to work up the courage to move to the next step. I needed to somehow find the will to talk to you.

I waited and waited, but every time I opened my mouth to say something to you, nothing happened. To make matter worse, I could see the disappointment in your eyes every time I started toward you and ended up going the other direction.

I was a horrible person. I should just go back to my moon and my lovely blackbirds. I was so stupid for thinking that I could get up the courage to take to someone who wasn't an animal.

"But aren't humans animals too?" that little, annoying voice asked me.

I waved that little voice away. I just needed to remember that I needed to keep my defences up around him and I wouldn't let him to get me, even though I wanted to get to know him a little better. I didn't belong in his world and he didn't belong in mine. We were too different, too far apart from one another.

After school, I went to my blackbird tree. According to my moon charts, there was supposed to be another harvest moon tonight, something that never happened. Tonight I would call out my blackbirds and we would become under the moon.

"So, this is where you disappear to," a voice said from behind me.

I whipped around and saw you standing there with a big smirk on your face. You took a couple of steps closer to me.

I stepped back and held on to the tree. What were you doing here?

Your smirk widened. "Come on, don't be like that. I know you want me."

"I don't have any idea what you are talking about." I walked around the tree.

"Of course you do." You stepped in front of me, blocking my path. "I know you are looking at me, just like you know that I'm watching you."
My heartbeat picked up. "Oh, yeah." I crossed my arms over my chest. "Do you have any proof of that?" I was so lame. I sounded like a child.

You reached for me, but I moved away. "The way you are acting now is proof enough."

I frowned. "Don't you know what they say about me?"

"That you are strange, a witch, and that everyone who gets within six metres of you gets cursed." You shrugged. "I can see past all of that, Sawyer. You are beautiful and none of that is true. People question you because they are afraid of things that are different from the norm. I happen to be drawn to those types of things."

I backed against the tree. "H-ho-how do you know my name?"

You smiled. "I know a lot of things. Plus, it's a small school and a small world, it's bound to happen."

I frowned. I didn't even know his name and, yet, I was drawn to him, but I couldn't let him know.

You looked up at the tree. "So, what's so special about the tree?"

I didn't answer right away. "It is believed that the posses knowledge. They see everything we do."

You nodded. "Is that why you come here or is there something more?"
I sighed. This was getting way too deep for my liking. "To me, it is the symbol of life and new beginnings."
"Is that why you keep coming here?" you asked. I did have to admit that you did seem very interested in this.

I nodded. "Plus, trees don't judge who you are. They are a lot kinder than humans."

You laughed. You did have a beautiful laugh. "You hit that one right on."

I looked up at the tree. "Now, you can run and tell everyone about the crazy girl."
You shook your head. "No, I'm not going to do that."

My heart skipped a beat.

"Everyone is too stupid to recognize the true beauty of the world around them."

I looked down at my feet wondering where you had been my entire life. Wait! No! I couldn't allow these thoughts to take over my mind. I was just going to get through my high school years and go live with my cats and blackbirds somewhere in Peru. You weren't part of the long term plan and, therefore, I couldn't have you in my life, no matter what my heart wanted.

"I have to go," I whispered.

"Wh-what?" you asked. You had a surprised look on your face.

I nodded and ran down the hill toward my house. I didn't look back, praying that you wouldn't follow me.

Once inside the safety of my small home, I slammed the door shut and leaned against it to catch my breath. I could hear my blackbirds calling for me in the other room. I let you get to close. I couldn't let you know the real truth: I was sixteen living alone and had been doing so since I was eight.

It sounded crazy that someone so young could live on her own, but I didn't have anyone and if I were to become property of the State, they would have probably locked me up into the nut house.

I went into my small living room and peered out the window. I could see you sitting up underneath the tree. I groaned. Why couldn't you just let it go? I let the curtain drop. I could only hope that you were gone before the harvest moon rose tonight.

I walked back to my blackbirds. I was like them. Legends claimed that blackbirds didn't give up their secrets very easy and you must prove that they you are completely devoted to them before they tell you any of their secrets. I took one from her nest and stroked her wings.

"What should I do, lovely blackbird?" I asked her.

She just looked back at me with me her knowing eyes.

"I guess you're right, but are you sure?" I looked back in the direction of the tree.

The blackbird flapped her wings at me.

I just nodded and gently placed the blackbird back into her nest. She didn't move, but her eyes seemed to be urging me to go and seek you out. The blackbirds were never wrong and I knew I should do what she told me. Yet, there was something holding me back.

Was it fear?

Or was it something else?
I went back into the front room and looked back out the window. You were now staring out at the tree. I wondered if you could read all of the Mother Earth's secrets the way I could. I watched you for several minutes before letting the curtain drop again.
I paced around the house for the rest of the day, fearing that you would come down here or worse. The anxiety was putting me on edge, making me want to rip my hair out. My tension was making my blackbirds very usually. I could feel them watching my every move, waiting for me to officially break down.

I didn't know what I would do if you were still around when the harvest moon filled the night sky. I simply could not miss the harvest moon nor would I move to another tree. That tree was just too special to me and I was not about to change my ways for some stupid boy.

Dusk was quickly approaching. I pulled back the curtain and saw that you were gone. Even though my heart jumped for joy, a sick feeling rose in the pit of my stomach. I guessed that deep down I really wanted to look out my window and see that you were still there.

Sighing, I went into the back room and changed into a loose white dress. I took my hair down and put on my flower crown. Even though I was dressed as a princess, I was not one. Mother Nature was the only princess tonight.

I went into the room where my blackbirds were. They perked up as I entered and flew toward me. "Yes, my darlings, tonight we dance."

The blackbirds led me outside, up the hill, and to the tree. The harvest moon was just starting to fill the sky. I enjoyed watching the moon rise; to me, it was the dawning of a new day and a great beauty. To some the moon was a symbol of the spirits, but not to me. The moon didn't bring out the creeps, it brought out all that was truly beautiful in nature.

I smiled at my blackbirds. "Go and fly, my sweets. Let the moon warm your bodies."
My blackbirds flew up into the sky. I watched, as they became nothing but little black dots. Once they were fully under the moon, they began to fly in a large circle, moving as one in perfect harmony. It never ceased to amaze how much nature was in harmony.

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night," a voice said behind me.

I jumped and saw you coming toward me. I cursed under my breath.

You were smiling. "Come on, it's the Beatles. Everyone loves the Beatles."

I looked up at the sky. My blackbirds were still flying in a circle.

Your face fell. "Or not."

"What are you doing here?" I snapped. My voice sounded much harsher than I intended.

"I was waiting for you." You looked down at your feet. "I wanted to make sure that I didn't hurt your feelings."

The moon was calling me to dance. I needed to get rid of you. "I'm fine."

You nodded. "So, what are doing?"

"You wouldn't understand," I muttered.

You crossed your arms over your chest. "Try me."

"I like dancing under the moon." I crossed my arms over my chest. "Do you like stalking people?"

You rolled your eyes. "Don't you think it's a bad idea for you to be out here by yourself?"
I eyed you. "I was alone until you decided to be a stalker."

"I am not a stalker."
My blackbirds were coming back down toward me. "Then, what are you?"

"I'm a Nicholas."

Why was this guy getting smart with me? I didn't have time to mess with you; there was very important business to attend to. Yet, here I was talking to you and not making you leave. I was kind of ashamed to admit that I was enjoying talking to you. If I couldn't get up the courage to talk to you in school, then what a better do so in an argument?

You smiled at me. "And you are a Sawyer, a beautiful, strong young woman."
A blackbird landed on my shoulder. "I'm not any of those things."
You reached and touched the blackbird's wings. That surprised me; normally the birds didn't let another people touch their wings. You had a pretty unique person. "Yes, you are."

The moon was right over top of us now. I could feel the pull calling me to dance. I wasn't about to dance with you around; it was something that had to be done in private.

"I can see past all of the fronts you put up. Below the loner act, you are a beautiful person. You have both light and dark whenever most people are just one of those things," you said.

I looked at me feet. I was nothing special, not like you made me out to be. I was just a girl trying to make it in this harsh and unforgiving world. There was nothing else, but that.

You looked up at the moon. "I thought you said you dance under the moon."

"Maybe not tonight."

You grabbed my hands and held me close. "You can't change your routine because of me."

The next thing I knew you were swaying me back and forth under the moon. At first, I felt awkward being that close to you, but as our dance went on I felt my awkwardness starting to go away. Soon, I found myself taking in all of the magic of the night.

I let the nature warm me and give me its strength to go on to whatever challenges it presented me. The earth was calling me, her child, home. She wanted to nurse me in the way that mothers were supposed to nurse their young.

I looked up at you and saw that you were staring down at me. It wasn't the kind of stare that made me want to run and hide, but the kind that made me feel loved and wanted. I had never felt that from anyone else but nature and my blackbirds.

"To be loved by another human is both a blessing and curse," the moon whispered. "Yet, it is something that is worth living for."

You blinked as you led me around the tree in a waltz. "What?"

I took my hand off your waist and touched your hair, soft, just like you. "Nothing."

"Is Sawyer actually opening up to humans?" You grin.

I laughed. "I wouldn't count on it, buddy."

"I told you, my name is Nicholas."

"I know that."

My blackbirds formed a circle around us. Their singing provided the prefect music for our moonlight dance. Dancing under the moon was magical by myself, but with you it was beautiful.

Things in nature are best shared with someone else. You can't live in this world without companionship of others. Sure, you can gain some of those things with blackbirds, but not everything. Blackbirds can love, but it's not the same thing as human love. To love another human and be loved by another is truly a gift.

I looked up at you. You saw me for who I was and you actually liked what you saw. To you, I was beautiful; I was beautiful with you.

Above us, the silvery flakes of the harvest moon drifted down onto us. It was the moon giving us our very own spotlight dance.

Thanks for reading! I do not own the Beatles song "Blackbird."