It is 1976.
We are in the oldest cemetery in Long Beach. It is Halloween night. Lately someone has been pushing headstones over. We are drama geeks going vigilante.
Our cars are parked at the top of the figure-eight driveway, hidden by trees. Present are Chris Callard, Mark Walker, Kim Long, and Todd Robbins.
Kim is dressed as Death, in a black hooded cloak, his face painted like a skull. He has a realistic prop scythe. We hide behind the trees near the gate. After a while a Volkswagen Beetle rolls in. As it comes about half-way around the curving driveway, Kim steps out from behind a tree. Their headlights sweep across him.
The car screams – one collective scream. It sounds like girls, but who can say?
The gears grind as the driver tries to get the bug into reverse. They grind a few more pounds as it hurtles back down the driveway. The last twenty feet two tires are on the curb.
We laugh and laugh. Then we reset and wait for another car. We are on a mission.
More cars come. More cars flee. We are protecting history!
Suddenly it’s day time.
We look around, blinking in the bright light. Four squad cars roll in the gate. They effectively block our escape. Kim slips off in his Death costume. We shove our remaining beers under a car.
The cops approach cautiously. The helicopter hovers overhead, illuminating the cemetery with its spotlight. Aside from Todd, we’re all dressed normally. The cops seem tense at first, but after we explain we’re there protecting the cemetery, they look at each other and laugh.
Someone called the police and told them people were in the cemetery cutting up animals and throwing the parts onto the road. They tell us we have to leave, but to come back in half an hour.
Kim comes sauntering down the hill, dressed in his plaid flannel shirt, jeans, and feathered blonde hair. He lights a cigarette and greets the officers warmly. Nothing going on here.
His face is still painted like a skull.