Ticks are the only things that seem to like this place.

They’re everywhere. During the evenings, I can see massive clouds of the bastards flitting across the matted surface, making the flesh of the dogscape quiver as they drink their fill. Sometimes, candid legs of various size and deformity burst through the surface to scratch at them. It doesn’t work. All the dogscape gains are vast stretches of scar marks, which the fleas feed upon. Sometimes, I rest on the side of a large outgrowth and find out it’s a monstrous tick. They latch onto one of the deep arteries of the dogflesh and endlessly leech of the new world’s lifeblood.

I saw a man once. It was hot that day. I was making my way for a dogpillar and saw him in the distance. He wasn’t moving and, as I approached, I saw why. He was covered in ticks. Not a single spot on him was clear. What little clothes remained on him were stretched over the fuckers. There was no wind, so all you heard was the faint scuttling of their tiny legs scratching against their ludicrously swelled bodies. He must have heard me, because me opened his mouth and tried to say something. His voice was raspy and his mouth was red, but he did manage to say one word.

“Itch.”

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