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4/19/20 Prompt: The Sound of Silence
The door banged open as Morrissey charged outside, barreling through Carlton's legs on the way. Carlton barely managed to avoid face-planting while balancing the tray of food in his hands. Stepping out onto the porch, he paused to reorient as the silence of the house's interior was replaced with the chaotic scene before him.

Laughter and screeches pierced the air from Lily, Iris, and their "Uncle" Shawn playing tag in the yard -- Morrissey's barking now being added to the cacophony.

At one end of the porch, Gus was chatting happily with his fiance over the phone.

On the opposite end, the Vicks were listening to the radio.

Conversation floated over from the picnic table -- Marlowe's delicate laughter blending with Juliet's own raspy-but-still-sweet voice; the gruff rumble from Henry an odd overlay to their smoother tones.

Carlton couldn't help remembering how much he used to crave the solitude of his apartment when he got home each night. Now, he couldn't imagine anything better than a summer evening filled with talking, laughter, children yelling, and dogs barking. Maybe not as peaceful as his old life, but he'd take this gentle chaos over the sound of silence any day.

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