Writing & Writers

“They Only Want You When You’re Seventeen”


There’s a small town in the most southern tip of Texas. It’s a 20 mile drive from the nearest town of Romero. Only four miles from the Rio Grande. The population is 1395. And for the last fifteen years of its history, the town of Gospel has been gated.

In 1992, the town was hit hard by an epidemic that killed several of the younger residents, while sparing adults over the age of 21. For this reason, the media called the virus the “baby flu.” While several of the early symptoms of the “baby flu” mimicked those of the influenza virus, common treatments weren’t capable of curing or stopping the virus in its tracks. Death took place within three days of the virus – though some succumbed sooner than others.

Due to the media sensationalized fear, the US government quickly quarantined the small town of Gospel. The sick were kept in the local hospital – no larger than a common city’s day clinic. The three level building was heavily guarded by military personnel. Parents and loved ones of there sick were not permitted to visit. No one who wasn’t military or hospital staff was allowed in with the building.

In the early morning of Tuesday, 27 October 1992, gun shots rang out over the town. Parents who’d been camping were startled awake as the gun fire grew in a heavy array of crescendo and chaos. Military personnel moved in to quiet the situation – though only those within the hospital witnessed the incident first hand. Thirty minutes after the heavy fire began, one witness present at the scene noticed the bellowing smoke from a third floor window. Following shortly after, several explosions shook the foundation of the building. In the building imploded, spilling debris into the parking lot and the air. While several were injured outside, there were no survivors from within.

To this day, it is speculated that the kills were government sanctioned. No answers were given to the public. And the media, turning its focus on the 1992 elections, buried the story. While the virus was considered eradicated, the military presence still remains within the town of Gospel.

One thought on ““They Only Want You When You’re Seventeen”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.