When the cold, greyish light of pre-dawn seeps into every corner, all that seemed so beautiful and magical in the starlight returns to its normal dreary appearance.
It is a hard light, the light of morning.
It bares and exposes, it throws half-shadows that don’t hide or soften, but make everything seem even more flat and angular and lifeless.
It takes the magic away.
The trees seem dead without their leaves, the sky is white and empty where before fluffy clouds painted beautiful patterns on a canvas of stars.
The houses are nothing more than blocks of concrete, unlit windows gazing out at the world like dead eyes while frost-covered cars cower in their lots beneath the lifeless stares.
A single plastic star is still alight in one window, but its feeble glow can’t contend with the all-revealing brightness of dawn, and so it remains a mere memory of the night’s magic,