"Are we really going to sneak in there?" — the Barbel rubs his gorgeous mustache. Biker and Collector had known him since their childhood. His "really" pronounced in that manner precisely indicates he doesn't want to do whatever he is talking about.
"When did you become such scaredy cats?" the Collector marvels.
"You guys were more brave men when you were ten than now! Did the Wizard of Oz take your courage when you turned 30, my lions?" the girl continues needling her friends.
The Biker switches his look from his friend to the abandoned house and coughs anxiously.
The Biker takes out his hanky to wipe the sweat off his forehead, and several colorful hairpins fall out of his pocket.
"Those are my daughter's!" — he defends himself and rushes to pick them up.
"That's so masculine!" — the Collector smiles and elbows the Barbel lightly.
"And what's up with you, hero? Have you finally spoken to that girl from the office? That pretty one you like."
"I am very close to that. We almost made eye contact last week!"
The Barbel looks at the old Californian-style house that drew their attention and realizes they must get in there. Like in the good old days. Just to prove themselves that they are still capable of adventures.
The wooden window opens with a creaking sound. The Biker goes in first. He climbs into the house but loses his balance and falls to the dusty floor. The Collector follows him, steps over her friend, and looks around the premises of the old building with fascination.
"Looks like no one has lived here since the eighties..." — the Barbel notes, holding out his hand to help the Biker up.
"Or someone who liked to collect everything related to the eighties lived here!" says the Collector who knows about such things.
Since childhood, she made collections out of everything in the world: from cans to insects. That is how she got her nickname. Now it is the girl's job. She creates sites for auctions and promotes private collections.
The trio examines the unknown's room in more detail. Various comics lay on the shelves covered with the cobweb. Several arcade machines stand peacefully — they haven't made a sound for years. Posters of popular movies of the last century on the walls are covered with dust but still can be recognized. The Barbel imagines cleaning everything here. He sees the picture of the house owner watching TV, playing games, and thinking about nothing for hours in this cozy den. But who owned the house?
When friends approach the table, they see a large box on it. The Collector tries to open it but fails - the lock performs its function pretty well even though it is old.
"Wait!" — the Biker shouts so unexpectedly it makes his friends jump.
"Remember how I used to open all the drawers at school? My elder brother taught me this trick!" — he takes out his daughter's pin from his pocket, picks it into the lock, and opens the box.
Inside is a pile of VHS tapes and a pack of Polaroid photos. One same pleasant-looking dinosaur face looked at the guests from every picture. Still, for some reason, he was in entirely different images in each photo. Taking one of the cards in his hand, Barbel feels the pleasant warmth of the piece of paper. He can not explain, but he enjoys looking at these pictures and sorting them.
"Who was this dude?" wonders the Biker, who also feels an inexplicable energy from the photos. The Collector looks at the tapes and notices that those are not only movies - there are some personal recordings as well. Videotapes are marked with dates and the sequence of days. The house owner must have recorded something personal on a camera.
"We must watch these tapes! We need to find out who lived here!" says the Collector. She is ready to hear some criticism about prying into the personal affairs of an unknown person (which is pretty fair). But to her surprise, the same desire can be read in the eyes of her friends.
"And how should we watch them? Those are fossils!"
The Collector smiles. She knows how. But it won't be easy.
"Not in this life! You are not touching my appliances!" — a gray-haired man frowns and stands at the threshold of his house like a royal palace guard. He is a friend of the Collector's father, and she remembered that he had been collecting various retro devices for a long time. But the grandpa is a hermit. He keeps his stuff like the apple of his eye, so he sternly refuses when the guys ask him to use it to watch the tapes from the old house.
"Nice bike you have. A very fancy model..." — the Biker tries to melt the ice of grandpa's heart. He has always been into two-wheeled equipment, so he immediately appreciated the motorcycle next to the old man's house.
"It's not mine! It's my gardener's. I hate him!"
The Barbel gives his friend a thumbs up for the nice try. The Collector comes closer to the threshold.
"When I was a child, I saw your collection and remembered it forever!" — the old man grimaces at these words of hers. You can't beat him with flattery. He is about to close the door, but the girl continues.
"I know all the famous collections in the city. And guess which place in the ratings is yours, according to reviews? None! Because I am the only one who knows about it."
The girl looks very carefully into the old man's eyes.
"Please let us use your devices, and I'll make your collection famous! You and your work deserve it!"
Grandpa inserts a cassette into a large retro-looking camera and presses the PLAY button. The same dinosaur from the photos appears on the old TV screen to which the camera is connected. Everyone looks at him carefully.
"Hi! I'm Andy..."
For the next few minutes, no one notices all those strange devices the old man's home is packed with. Nobody is interested in unique receivers, blenders, players, and TVs. Nobody asks stupid questions about the first vacuum cleaners and how they sucked up dust. Instead, everyone watches the records, tape after tape.
It turns out that Andy really lived here in the good old eighties. He was thirty, and, as is often the case, he could not find himself in this world. No hobby or job lasted more than a week in his life. Andy even started seeing a therapist to sort himself out. It was the doctor who gave him a Polaroid camera so Andy could record each of the "roles" he tried on. And he had a lot of them. All these attempts, all these pictures, is what friends found in Andy's old house. So the guys realize that the world should learn about this unusual dinosaur story.
"Digitize these photos and make an NFT collection!"
The trio looks at the old man in astonishment.
"What? You thought I knew nothing about the modern world? What a shame! Even my gardener has created his own meme coin!"
The trio of friends walks down the street and passionately discusses the idea of creating a collection. All they need to do is to find someone to help them digitize Andy's pictures and then post them. The Biker and the Collector take a few steps forward before they realize the Barbel has suddenly stopped. He breathes heavily, and his eyes are closed. The man nods his head in despair.
"Are you okay?" the Biker asks worriedly.
The Barbel nods again:
"Do I have to call her personally?"
The girl from the office. The one the Barbel still hesitates to speak to. She is the one who can help them with Andy's collection. Like the universe itself wants this conversation to happen.
The Barbel stares at one of Andy's pictures in his hand, holding the phone in his other hand.
"Are you really going to call her?" the Collector asks with a smile.
The Barbel nods. Who knows if it will lead to something more than just a web project. The guy presses the Call button.
Over the next several days, the friends work on the Old 80's collection. All this time, they are trying to find at least some information about what happened to Andy. Has he finally found himself? Where is he now? Does he need help? But there is no answer. Nobody knows anything about him.
The collection is the only hope. It can draw Andy's attention or somebody who has known him. Each NFT-polaroid of Andy that spreads worldwide brings us closer to the moment when everyone learns the story of this strange dinosaur.