The Dogscape. That's what we call it. Us humans that banded together, I mean. We sit around campfires and cook the whelps we collect from the dogtrees. The only flammable material we have is the acrid fur that grows everywhere. It offends all senses, but soon the meal is prepared. The only food sources are the dogtrees and the mothermounds. Some foolish enough dig for meat. Though the reward is great, many don't come back, for the dogflesh regrows above them, trapping them inside the moist ground. Primitive tools are forged from bones and leather, such as shovels and knives and clothes. I have lived here for as long as I can remember. There are faint shimmers of the time before the Dogflesh, but what use is there dwelling on the past when it cannot fill our stomachs in the present? I am our tribe's scribe. My name is Dok. I used to have a real name, but it escapes my memory. I record all of our findings and knowledge in my leather pages, using dog blood as ink. There were times when there were more of us. The tribe started with as many as sixty people. Now, our numbers are as few as twenty. Our leader is Keef. He instructs us to find food, build shelter, and bring fire. He abuses his power, taking five wives and eating more than his share of the food, but those who speak against him meet death in the night. It is hellish, but there is no other choice. Without guidance, we will die out here, so we must remain under his leadership.
It has been two days since my last writing. I am lucky that Keef cannot read, for if he had seen my statements about him, I would be dead. Yesterday, one of our tribe members, Kot, was killed by accidentally stepping into one of the open dogmouths. His screams of pain as it chewed forced me to crush his skull with a shovel, killing him instantly. The bastard Keef claimed Kot's food ration as his own. I can sense the others are beginning to tire of Keef's position of power as well. Nobody spoke a word at that night's feast. I will not sleep well tonight, hearing Kot's screams in my nightmares.
I fear for my life. Fek was killed in front of all of us by Keef today. He refused to continue digging for meat, so the monster beat him to death with his bare hands as a sign that he would not tolerate a refusal to work. I cannot stand for this much longer. Fek was not even an adult; he could not have been more than seventeen human years. This brings our numbers down to eighteen. There is Keef, his five wives, me, and the remaining 11 diggers and gatherers. The others whisper to me in secret that I should be the leader instead. I guess they think I have all the answers because I am the scribe. Only time will tell.
I was awoken at the crack of dawn by one of the diggers, Gar specifically. He told me that tonight would be the night. The others had a plan. They want me to announce that I am the new leader during the feast. When he is distracted with rage, they intend to kill him from behind. I tell Gar that I accept his plan, and will assist them tonight. What have I gotten myself into?
Damn them all. I told Keef I planned to replace him. He arose, filled with rage. I waited for the blow to strike him. It never hit Keef; instead it hit me. Gar was Keef's spy all along. They dragged me far away from the Gardens, and tied me to a barren dogtree. He said that a quick death would not befit me, and I will waste away under the deathly sun. I can just barely reach my journal from here. I suppose this is the end of me.
When the sun was highest in the sky, the heat became unbearable. I saw figures on the horizon. They were not human; they were the hounds that come to eat what the humans leave behind. I thought they were going to eat me. Instead, they went for the blood-soaked meatropes that held me in place. I was free. I kneeled down to the hounds, and looked deep in its eyes. I told them I knew where they could fill their bellies to the brim. It barked once in what I assume was confirmation. I stood up, and we set off to feast.
When we reached the settlement, it was amidst their feast. I approached, death in my gaze. Keef was shocked and angry. The diggers and gatherers were quick to his defense; I guess he bribed them. I whistled, and the hounds slinked through the fur to my side. We struck like a lightning bolt. My fist smashed into Keef's face just as my hounds pounced upon his closest guards. Though I was physically weak, I was quite fast. I stole a shovel and quickly buried it into Keef's bloat while he was disoriented. The smell was sickening, as I expected from a man like him. The hounds made quick work of the rest. I helped, of course. None were spared. I made sure I had my vengeance upon Gar. The hounds were quite full by the end. I took my time and buried each corpse (or what was left of them). I leave this book upon their graves in the hopes that someone who can understand it finds it. If you do, take heed of these words. The Dogscape knows all, and is strict but fair. She provides justice where justice is due.