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They skim the shine off moonbeams and trap skeins of sunlight in dusty dirty liquor bottles. They steal the glint in a lover’s eye and the glow of hate’s embers. They are not interested in color (though what they leave behind is curiously dim), nor magic (though what they take is sometimes powerful indeed). What they want is the light.

Every junkie has a preference, a secret recipe. Three dippers-full of straight sun, a half a coffee can of neon-tube glow, a scant handful of the bio-luminescence of certain deep-sea creatures brought up to the surface by strange tides. Some prefer the harsh bite of an arc-sodium lamp, others the strong clean taste of LED. Those with a more classic palette adore the smokey burn of a bonfire or the quick acid bite of a glowworm or a firefly.

Most start simple, drawing the light away from a candle or a quick sip of a passing sunbeam. Once you start though, the craving sinks in deep, to be filled with the light, illuminating all the dark corners. People spend their lives chasing it, tasting all the different ways the light changes itself. Some burn themselves out chasing the glow. Some kill themselves rather than court shadow again.

Some change.

They look like any other light junkie on the outside, but inside…. its like a dark hole. The collapsed heart of a star desperately drawing in everything it can, even light (especially light) to fill the aching hole where it once shone. They pull the light in, all the light, the light in a young child’s eyes and the reflection of sunset on water and the green-tinted light of a forest and the brightness of a painting and the soft illumination of love on a young man’s face. All of the light, every speck and sip and drop, no longer drinking it in but still swallowing, gulping it down and never ever getting full because the darkness grows as fast as the light streams in.

They’re desperate, you see. They’ll do anything for more light, purer light, better light, truer light that will overwhelm even the strength of an event horizon and fill them, even though their shadows have grown so very very deep. They are desperate. They’ll do anything.

Drink the moon.

Swallow the sun.

Absorb the gleam of the Milky Way.

Eat all of the universe, every sun and star and planet glowing with life and death and everything in between.

Anything, for a fix of light.