Alice hoped the dust from the road wouldn't ruin her best dress as she and her husband hitched a ride into town on the back of a hay cart. The driver’s mule stopped in front of the general store where there was already a line forming.
“Oh dear, we’re late Jacob. I told you to get a move on. Hurry up now, let’s get our place.”
Jacob grumbled under his breath as he helped Alice off the back of the cart and pulled a few pieces of straw from her hair. He took her hand and lead her down the wooden sidewalk to the end of the line. It happened to be right in front of the swinging doors of the local saloon.
“Darlin’, why don’t I just pop in here for a quick refreshment whilst you hold our place in line.”
Alice turned to give him the obvious answer but found only a wooden cigar store Indian staring back at her. Furious, she marched into the saloon and found Jacob bellied up to the bar.
“Getch yer sorry soggy bottom out here right now mister, or you’re not comin’ home with me.”
Jacob threw back the shot of whiskey and left a coin on the bar. The next thing he knew he was sitting in front of a photographer whose head was draped with a black cloth.
“This is taking forever, remind me why we’re doing this, Alice?”
“Because it’s 1860, and the new technology is right here in our little town.” Alice licked her finger and flattened her long eyebrow hairs. “You don’t see that very often.”
After waiting a week and paying the equivalent of a month’s wages, Alice and Jacob had their first photograph as a married couple. “Dagnabbit, is that what I look like?” Jacob exclaimed.
© Steve Stucko