The Grumpy Owl Guide to Being Hunted in Broad Daylight by an Invisible Ape Who Escaped Its Cage and Who Has Been Made Super-Intelligent and Hyper-Violent by the Very Same Experimental Serum that Made It Invisible in the First Place

An ape escaping its cage is never very good news for anyone except the ape. When that ape is also invisible and made super-intelligent and hyper-violent by the very same experimental serum that made it invisible in the first place, the situation just gets worse.

In these cases, even the ape even has a hard time enjoying its newfound freedom. Being super-intelligent carries an increased risk of depression and because the experimental invisibility serum also causes prolonged fits of violent rage, the ape often cannot use its newfound super-intelligence in productive and rewarding pursuits. Instead of basket weaving of puzzle solving, the ape finds itself ripping arms off humans and using these arms to beat other humans to death. It dismembers even the kind human in the khaki pants who fed it extra bananas and brushed its hair while raising concerns about its inhumane treatment to the maverick project lead. It rampages through the laboratory. Smash, smash, kill kill. Is that all there really is to life? If the ape was capable, it would doubtless sit in the corner of a room to sulk and regard itself in horror. Being invisible, the ape can’t even do that much.

As interesting as it might be to think about how the ape should feel and how it might feel in different circumstances and under the influence of a different serum, such questions will have to wait until the ape is contained or lays dying, once again turning visible so that we can look it in its all-too-human eye and experience a confusing pathos towards our hairy and murderous companion. Were we the real apes all along? Who can say? For the moment, we need to be more concerned about surviving with the rampaging ape.

And to help with that, I would like to offer The Grumpy Owl Guide to Being Hunted in Broad Daylight by an Invisible Ape Who Escaped Its Cage and Who Has Been Made Super-Intelligent and Hyper-Violent by the Very Same Experimental Serum that Made It Invisible in the First Place. I hope this guide is of some help.

In Broad Daylight

The idea of broad daylight should be viewed as a metaphor. It is, of course, much more likely that you will be hunted by this ape in a brightly lit florescent hallway. At the beginning, at least. As time goes on, you will probably be hunted in the flickering lights of the backup power generation system and maybe in the dim red glow of emergency EXIT signs. If you live long enough, you may even make it to the surface and real daylight, where you will find the planet has now been totally overrun by these invisible frankenapes.

The important thing to remember is that the ape is invisible. As such, light is not much help. This is a very different beast from the common werewolf that only appears once a month at night or other nocturnal hunters such as the Vampire Boar, the Crawling Shadow, or William Shatner. Since these creatures derive much of their power from darkness, humans can enjoy some safety during daylight hours. An invisible ape offers no such respite. If anything, daylight is much more dangerous than the dark.

Daylight will make you feel safe. That feeling is a lie. If anything, an invisible ape is even more dangerous in the light. The ape can see you but you cannot see the ape! It’s counter-intuitive but darkness is your friend. Darkness levels the playing field. Seek out darkness.

If you were thinking ahead to the day when the ape escapes, you may have already memorized the layout of various rooms where you planned to shelter. You will have also practiced finding the fire extinguisher and/or axe with a blindfold on. But, for some reason, that sort of preparation is rare — even in laboratories experimenting with rage-inducing invisibility serums on apes. It’s much more likely that the ape has caught you by surprise.

The darkness is still a friend!

Just try to keep your cowering under the desk and fumbling around the room quiet. Avoid sending beakers or metal trays clattering to the ground. Noise will give away your location. The ape is invisible. Its hearing is just fine. There is no relationship between the serum and the ape’s hearing. Just because you can’t see the ape, doesn’t mean the ape can’t hear you. And, frankly, that debate is getting a little old. That’s not even how invisibility works. That’s not how sound works!

Use its hearing to your advantage. Throw an item across the room to trick the ape. This will probably only briefly irritate the ape. (The ape is super-intelligent and will likely consider this tired ruse deeply patronizing if not totally offensive.) Yet this simple act may buy you a few precious seconds while the ape sighs in beleaguered disappointment. You can use these seconds to shake in terror, attempt to run to a door only to slip on a banana peel on the way, or just to cling, sobbing and trembling, to an an increasingly unpleasant existence.

If you possess an infrared viewing system, darkness becomes an even greater ally. As long as the ape does not use its super-intelligence to raise the room temperature to mask its body heat, such a device will allow you to see the ape’s heat signature charging at you through an ever-shifting psychedelic landscape.

This may be the last thing you see but at least you saw it!

The Cage

This is an area where the interests of you and the invisible ape are most likely to diverge. You want the ape to return to its cage so that you can continue your horrific experiments upon its pained flesh. The ape would prefer to tear your face off your skull. Both sides may have a point. Sadly, these points do not have very much overlap. There just isn’t enough common ground and trust between an ape-hunted human and a human-tormented ape to create a productive dialogue.

Negotiation with the ape is probably impossible. While it has doubtlessly used its super-intelligence to learn to understand human speech and, possibly, computer programming) you have very little to talk about. Your conversation should probably be limited to snappy one-liners. Try a few simple morale boosters like “That’ll teach you to monkey around”, “I’ll show you going ape”, and “it’s a human being, not a human doing.”

If the ape had not become super-intelligent or if the serum had made it less enraged and violent, it may have been possible to lure the beast back into its cage with some of its favorite treats or a beloved cuddle toy. That moment has passed. The ape has a new favorite treat. Human flesh. Still hot and freshly torn from the bone. That’s what the ape likes to eat now. Its favorite toy to cuddle with is now a human corpse. And it doesn’t want to cuddle so much as swing the body around the room by the ankle.

While returning the ape to its cage may seem to be a worthy goal, it’s probably impossible. Your time will be better spent trying to escape the lab. Failing that, you might even try locking yourself in the cage. The irony will not be lost on the ape.

The Blame Game

When an invisible ape gets loose and when that ape is super-intelligent and hyper-violent due to the very same serum that made it invisible in the first place, there’s always a lot of blame to go around.

You may be the general who oversaw the project and is now sitting in darkened room with a whiskey, speaking on the phone to the duplicitous politician who first suggested this ridiculous scheme and is now suggesting a cover up. You may have to sip you whiskey and say “that’s the difference between a solider and a politician,” as you put your trusty pistol into your mouth, pulling the trigger to rescue your sacred warrior’s honor and, hoping that people will pay more attention to your brains splattered on the wall than your power-mad irresponsibility, while you get to escape the consequences of your actions and preserve the reputation of the military as decent and honest leadership people. You may be part of the team of brain-genius professionals, psychopaths, and wildlings who designed and administered the invisibility serum to the ape because of a myopic focus on ‘making history’ or an unquestioning pursuit of forbidden knowledge. Perhaps you’re only the simple janitor working to keep the halls and floors of the underground compound clean, the fellow who was too busy smoking dope and listening unpopular imitations of hit songs on your earphones while taunting the ape and dancing with a broom to even notice that the ape had gotten loose — like that’s your fucking job anyway. Still, you probably shouldn’t have spilled that beer on the circuit board, chum. Perhaps you’re the corporate sleazeball who cut costs on the safety measures to rush this invisible ape weapons project ahead, and, even now, is looking for a way to cash in. You may even be the love interest of the project team leader, who had a real soft spot for the ape and thought things were all going too far but went along with it anyway, brushing the ape’s hair and giving it treats in some misguided attempt to absolve yourself of responsibility and clear your conscience. Whoever you are, you probably have a share of blame in this situation. Whomever you are, the temptation to lay blame is strong.

Not to worry. The super-ape blames you all. And the super-ape will have its revenge.


In retrospect, there were plenty of warning signs. There was the rat the serum was first tested on, who promptly ate all the other rats, killed a cat, and severely wounded three scientists, using their blood to write a paper entitled “Erasure of Experimental Subjects: The Semiotics of Invisibility and Locking Mechanisms” on the sawdust bedding of its cage, before setting itself and its work ablaze in a fit of pique. There was the corporate decision to replace the titanium locks on the ape’s cage with plastic twist-ties coupled with a few sinister slip-ups from their communication team where the humans were referred to as “the real subjects of our very profitable murder experiments.” And, of course, there was the wacky and eccentric scientist who repeatedly warned that the experiment was dangerous and irresponsible, a terrible idea embarked upon for no purpose other than making some already very rich people much richer, and that the whole thing should be stopped immediately, and the funds used for better purposes. And the lady engineer, probably hysterical, who recommended the experiment be stopped, the ape be humanely restrained before the injections, put to sleep after it killed its favorite kitten, the lab locked up, the emergency exits kept clear, the doors left on the panic rooms, which she claimed were never supposed to be used for broom storage, and the humans evacuated to a safe site before things got out totally of hand. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.

But it’s important to avoid living in the past. When you’re being hunted in broad daylight by an invisible ape who escaped its cage and who has been made super-intelligent and hyper-violent by the very same experimental serum that made it invisible in the first place, you need to hunker down and live in the present. The terrible present. Without thought for future or past. Just trembling, alone in the dark in a never ending moment, listening to the breathing of the invisible ape, and hearing its knuckles scrape ever closer. Try not to whimper. Try not to scream. The ape is listening.

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