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First Light

   The professor slept in her seatbelt again; its light pressure like a lover’s arm against her breast, the steering wheel wet from a night of trapped breath. Her car faced the vast glass entrance to the university gym; her only toilet, shower, towels — all semester.

 She awoke as every television above each treadmill flashed her faculty headshot on-screen. “Professor of the Year to be Honored.” She craned forward with her phone, extending a numb arm to grab a peripheral wisp of WiFi — giddy to recall the Latvian word for "honor," momentarily thrilled to email her mother such wonderful news.

Nicola Dixon

Photo: "Candid" by Flora Horton

Story by Nicola Dixon

Nicola Dixon is a UK-born, Philly fortified writer who has received a pushcart nomination for creative nonfiction and a fiction fellowship from The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. She received a BFA from the University of the Arts and is finishing an MA Professional Writing from New England College. Her last piece was featured in Hong Kong Review. She has been in more bands than you can shake a stick at and is probably fiddling with an EQ right now.

Photography by Flora Horton

Flora is a photographer and graphic designer from LA, where she lives with her Maine Coon, Buttercup, and her cockatoo, Bubbles, who get along better than you might think.