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Stephen King signs Under the Dome at Walmart

When horror master Stephen King made a rare book-signing appearance -- in the children's clothing department of Dundalk's Walmart -- The Baltimore Sun's Mary McCauley was there. Here's an excerpt from her story about the fans who came away with autographed copies of "Under the Dome" (and here are photos):

To approach King, fans had to traverse 10 alleys cordoned off by ropes. Three Walmart employees handled each book before it was placed in front of the author for his autograph. The first employee greeted the customer and took his or her previously purchased copy. The second flipped the book open to the title page, and the third shoved it down the table and in front of the novelist. Six seconds, tops, and it was on to the next customer.

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A female fan kissed King's hand. A man asked him for a hug, while children routinely received high-fives. But only Sylvia Sikora, 42, of Baltimore was invited behind the table to pose for a photo with her arm around King's shoulders.

"I have every one of your books in English and in German," she told King. Sikora, who came to the U.S. in 1990 from her native land, first read the German-language version of "Firestarter" shortly after it was published in the early 1980s. "I absolutely loved it, and I've been hooked ever since," she said.

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