Jeff, a nervous man. One could say he was broken inside…

Prompt:

A friendly dog named Cannibal, a rundown apartment building, a nervous guy named Jeff, and a whole lot of missing vintage vinyl.

Go.

Jeff’s hands were laced together, thumbs batting against each other. Long dark brown hair hung down, covering eyes that stared at the splintered floor below. Bits of wood had been uprooted, reaching up toward the ceiling like jagged hands desperately reaching out for release. Water dripped into a far corner of the room, adding to an unpleasant musky smell that hovered about the air. The stench seemed to stick to Jeff’s skin, leaving an unpleasant sort of feeling. It felt like someone had rubbed the very essence of this dilapidated place all over his body. His hands unfurled, fingers shakily scratching his arm.

His legs had been lightly bouncing on a ratty wooden chair, his muddy shoes tapping against it every so often in a discordant rhythm. This place used to be calm. Just stacks of vinyl all over. It didn’t matter at all how rundown this apartment had been — it had long served its purpose as a make-shift warehouse for his extensive collection. It was a personal haven, a place where he could go to just smell the old scratched plastic.

Someone had destroyed that paradise, stealing all but one box. Now all he could do was sit in his forlorn oasis and fear that they would return.

Jeff stood, walking over to a cardboard box that had been overturned. It had been the only thing that remained, containing a small collection of more modern hits. He pulled out a gatefold album cover, opening it to reveal the contents — a single by Brokencyde. He held the cover to his chest, sighing. “Oh what would I ever do without your lyrical stylings, Seven?”

His tone was full of whimsy, his voice almost cracking. “Such wonderfully put together beats, I have not heard such a sound since Tchaikovsky first graced my ears!”

A sudden thud from the other room caused Jeff to startle, sending his heart into his throat. He stepped back, his foot almost catching a stray nail in the floor. He just barely managed to keep his balance. His eyes darted down, lighting up and bouncing all over the room. Had the thieves returned? He held his prized record sideways like a Frisbee — the perfect weapon. Hands shaking, he slowly crept to the other room, all the while gripping his armament tightly. He stopped before turning the corner, trying to calm his nerves. He had to move. He bursted through the doorway.

As he jumped through the entrance he scanned the room, the only thing visible an empty cardboard box that had fallen from a chair. A tail was visibly wagging from within the box. Jeff let out a sigh of relief. “Cannibal, what did you get yourself into?” The dachshund popped his head out of the box, tilting it to the side before hoping out and heading to Jeff.

Jeff reached down to pet his dog, smiling. Sure, they stole virtually all of his vinyl — but at least he had the things that mattered most, Brokencyde and Cannibal.

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