Previously: The Knockertell.
Created by someone going by the name NeveRsLeePwitHme, The Apex is more or less a variation on hide and seek — although the stakes are somewhat higher than they are in games like, say, One-Man Hide and Seek. It’s a long one, and it’s best not attempted unless you are in possession of a certain set of survival skills. I’m unclear on exactly what the Apex is; we know it’s a hunter, and we know it lives in the woods — but given that the definition of an apex is, variously, “the uppermost point,” “the narrowed or pointed end,” or “the highest or culminating point”… well, what exactly is this hunter the apex of?
Although there’s also the whole idea of the apex predator, so, y’know, do with that what you will.
As for how you win, maybe this will be useful: In game theory, there’s a pursuit-evasion game called the Princess and Monster Game. In the basic set-up, the Princess and the Monster are thrown together into a dark room (meaning they cannot see each other); the object of the game is for the Princess to evade capture for a certain period of time. If the Princess is to survive, her best strategy is to move to a random position in the room, stay there for the optimal period of time, move to another position in the room, and repeat the process until time is up.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
The trick, of course, is figuring out what that optimal period of time is — while also remembering that the Monster has a winning strategy up its sleeve, too.
As always, play at your own risk.
- At least two participants. Your partner(s) should be people you trust beyond any doubt.
- A forest as far away from civilization as you can manage.
- Survival supplies. Bring enough to get you through an entire 24-hour period.
- Begin by entering the forest before dawn with your partner(s).
- Form a circle with your partner(s) by holding hands. Say aloud the words, “We are allies! We wish to game a worthy opponent! Will no challenge face us?”
- When you hear a crash coming from elsewhere in the forest, run — together. Do NOT get separated from the group. Do NOT leave anyone behind.
- You and your partner(s) are now the Herd. For the next 24 hours — an entire day and night — the Herd will be hunted by the Apex.
- Survive however you must, but do NOT get separated, do NOT harm your partner(s), and do NOT beg for mercy.
- When the 24 hours are up, leave the forest immediately.
- When you emerge from the forest, you will be approached by a park ranger who will ask you, “Are you worthy?”
- If you answer “Yes”: It is NOT recommended that you choose this answer.
- If you answer “No”: It is NOT recommended that you choose this answer.
- If you answer “Am I?”: The ranger will hand you a box. Take it, but do not open it or look inside (yet).
- Leave the area.
- Once you are on familiar ground, open the box to receive your prize. You will find one of two items inside: An object of value, either monetary or personal, which you or your partner(s) had previously lost; or a sheet of paper with something written on it. Should you find the sheet of paper, you may choose to read it or you may choose not to; either way, though, exercise caution when making your decision.
Stick together. A true hunter, the Apex excels in isolating members of the Herd and picking them off one by one. It bears repeating: Do NOT get separated, and do NOT leave anyone behind.
Should you hear the Apex behind you, do NOT turn around and do NOT look at it. To do so may result in memory loss or paralysis.
Do NOT attempt to leave the woods before the end of the hunt. The Apex isn’t confined to the woods, you know — and you certainly don’t want to bring it home with you.
Concerning the Sheet of Paper:
Written on it will be a secret — but think carefully before reading it. Not all secrets were meant to be shared, and what has been learned cannot be unlearned.
[Photo: Frida J/Flickr]