Downtown Charleston was recently rocked by a turf war that so far has claimed hundreds of lives nationwide. Last week, members of the Christmas gang silently infiltrated King Street and perpetrated unspeakable acts of violence. Autumn leaves were gathered into a pile and burned. Halloween decorations were stuffed into trash bags and used as blunt instruments. As a final act of wanton destruction, the wax edifice of a Thanksgiving Turkey was burned while the Christmas crowd chanted “Cheer! Joy! Cheer! Joy!” Residents of nearby homes, dorms, and apartments cowered under their beds. Children hid in their closets. Even the rats fled. The Charleston Chamber of Commerce estimates the damages to businesses and public property at $13.6 million.
When the carnage was complete, the Christmas gang set about constructing a new order from the wreckage. Evergreen garlands were wound tight around the lampposts and crowned with red bows. Pumpkins were replaced with paper snowflakes. Window displays were suffocated with sugar, spice, and fake Polyfill snow. Frosty the Snowman decals stared with dead eyes out onto the scene. “It was a complete transformation,” said Charleston native Cindy Fitzgibbons when surveying King Street the next morning. “This is not the city I grew up in.”
Recent national reports have found that gang violence is soaring in most metropolitan areas. Coupled with the extreme emotions evoked by the holiday season, November and December can quickly become a nightmare for law enforcement. “We’ve definitely seen a spike in confrontations between Christmas and Thanksgiving gang members,” stated Charleston Police Chief in a press conference. “Flare-ups of violence, graffiti, etc. usually occur a week or two before Thanksgiving. Just this year, we’ve started to see violence closer and closer to Halloween. It’s like it starts earlier every year.”
Residents and tourists are advised to stay on their guard for more conflict in the days to come. Thanksgiving gang members have begun to leave their iconic tag, “grAttitude” on buildings and sidewalks. Paper handprint turkeys have been seen fluttering from windows and mailboxes. Reprisal on King Street cannot be long in coming.