Texas Funeral

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Authors: Jack Batcher
house, “The dog too. All these flies”
“Mama,” Gary said, “I don’t feel so good.”
Gary began to tremble violently in Elsie’s kitchen.
Then he began to stumble awkwardly around the room.
    “Oh dear God no!” Julia cried, “Elsie this is what
happened to Bill and the dog. Quick let’s get him to the
    Julia grabbed Gary and carried him into the garage.
Elsie had opened the back door of her SUV and helped
Julia into the truck. Elsie scurried around to the driver’s
side, hopped in, and started up the engine. She pushed the
button to open the garage door. Blood began to trickle out
of Gary ’s mouth.
“Go!” Julia screamed, “He is getting worse!”
    Elsie floored the gas pedal out of the garage and
launched the car onto Lexington Drive, attempting to get
Gary to Kilgore Memorial hospital as fast as she could.
    “Oh dear Elsie,” Julia said, “I am not feeling to good
either. I was bitten by the same flies Gary has been bitten
by too.”
“We are almost at the Hospital Julia,” Elsie said.
“We are almost there hold on.”
    It was just after midnight as I rolled my rusted out El Camino passed the welcome sign for Kilgore, The City
of Stars. End of the Night , by The Doors , crackled out of
the cars old speakers, bringing an apocalyptical eeriness to
the hot June night. I was returning from my laboratory at
the University of Texas in Austin, where I worked on The
Red Fire Ant Project . The projects main focus was to find a
way of controlling the Red Fire Ant epidemic that had been
plaguing all of Texas, and eventually eradicating the
problem all together. The Red Fire Ants were imported
here to the United States accidentally in dirt that had come
from South America. After studying the Red Fire Ants for
some time, I had come to realize that they had no natural
enemies here in the United States. With the lack of a
natural predator the ants were able to flourish
    The last time I was in Kilgore was in the beginning
of May. I was here with the permission of the Mayor of
Kilgore. The Mayor, Mr. Ricardo Valdez, who used to be
the singer and lead guitarist to the Tex-Mex Rock group Lil’ Dickey Valdez and The Fireballs . Mayor Valdez was
excited that Kilgore would be instrumental in finding a
solution to the Red Fire Ant problem. He did not foresee
any harm that my experiment would bring to the people.
My experiment was to release Genetically Modified South
American Phorid flies, which are known predators of the
Red Fire Ants in their native land.
    What happens when the South American Phorid Fly
attacks the Red Fire Ant? That’s a good question, and I’m
glad that you asked. When this particular Phorid Fly attacks
the Red Fire Ant, it lands on the Ants back and injects it
with larva. The larvae then attack the Fire Ants central
nervous system. As the larvae metamorphosis into the
Phorid Fly, it uses its influence on the Ants central nervous
system to lead it away from the Colony. The Ants
movements are awkward and jarring, like a Zombie.
    Now that the fly is safely away from the Colony, it
now kills the Ant by eating its brain, then chewing through
the neck until the Ants head falls off. The fully
metamorphosed Phorid Fly then takes off to reproduce
more flies by repeating this same act. This will not
eradicate the Red Fire Ant problem immediately. The
natural metamorphosis is a slow process, but with my DNA
modifications, I was able to speed up the process, while
making the flies more aggressive in their attack on the Ant
Colonies. It is an environmentally safer solution to poisons,
which is good for people, pets, and other livestock.
    Mayor Valdez had this to say to me about the
experiment. He said, “Mr. Harris, you may conduct your
experiment here in the City of Kilgore, but you can bet the
devil your head, that if anything goes wrong, you’ll get the
full wrath of Mayor Ricardo Valdez. Do you understand

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