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A second EXTRA-LARGE (T-shirt) PRIZE has been awarded to Hal Jefferies an electrical engineer from southern New Mexico.
Send us an e-mail, Hal, and if you'll include your bio, we'll let the world know who you are!

Domino Down — The Second Story . . .

     IT WAS THE 610,783rd domino, and the final placement in a design that took exactly 178 hours and 33 minutes to set up. Once this last domino was in place, the complex falling action of the dominoes should take about sixteen and a quarter minutes to complete.

      All of this would be ready as soon as Jerry set the final domino. That final domino was less than two centimeters from the wooden surface of the gym when ...

      ... Jerry encountered a problem.

      It seems that the fingers of his right hand, steady as a rock for the preceding 610,782 dominos, began to cramp.

      The crowd, now filling the gymnasium to capacity, seemed to sense his problem, and grew silent as he hovered centimeters away from the completion of his magnificent obsession. . .

      Jerry cautiously withdrew his hand, cracked his knuckles, and began again. But as the domino approached its final resting place, once again pain lanced through his palm, spreading into his wrist and forearm.

      For a moment, Jerry considered not placing the final domino -- but he had not gotten the previous six hundred thousand dominos in there position by being a quitter. He persisted -- even as the pain spread from his forearm into his shoulder, and into his chest. Jerry Milligan had never quit anything in his life -- or at least not this close to final completion! The plan had been for 610,783 dominos, and he was a man who had always believed in following the plan!

      It was excruciating pain, but he persevered. The last domino quivered gently into place. For a second, Jerry was filled with horror as this last domino vibrated on the wooden floor -- before finding its footing and then coming gently to rest in its correct position.

      There! He had achieved completeness! They were ready to -- go -- but -- pain now filled his entire being. He found himself unable to move -- unable to see past the haze that filled his vision -- unable to stay concious. . .

      He collapsed quietly against the wall, totally surrounded on all sides by dominos, as the crowd roared its approval.

* * * * * *

      The paramedics said they might have been able to save him, except that he had collapsed in the corner, and there was a general reluctance on their part of anyone disturb the carefully arrayed dominos. When the paramedics finally rushed to him, scattering the dominos in all directions, Jerry Milligan could not be revived.

Bravo Hal! Our judges couldn't resist awarding their special prize to this splendid story ending. Great Job!

And don't forget to sample the rest of the E-Zine. Disagree with the Flick Chick, enjoy more short stories, read our Tips and our trivial news! Then download a good book! And enjoy yourself!

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