• Published 9th Oct 2020
  • 280 Views, 8 Comments

Stinging Sadness - Player 4

Things go painfully wrong after three park-goers try to ward off an insect with a stinger.

  • ...

Strategy Gone Wrong

"There! Looks like we're all set!", I say as I put the final piece of recording equipment into the black bag.

To-do-list captain Bon Bon takes a check. "Camera, tripod, case, microphones, yep, I think that's it!", she says.

"So we are ready?", the joyful Lyra Heartstrings asks, skipping over to the front door.

"I believe we are ready!", Bon Bon exclaims.

The three of us have got a fun day going on here today. With our work schedules finally hitting a day off all at the same time, Lyra, Bon Bon, and I are finally getting the chance to act on our long-awaited dream activity; recording a short film.

During my ongoing time in Equestria, these two roommates had become among my closest friends, mostly based on the frenzy of new ideas that we always seemed to have. It was confusing to me at first, but Lyra pointed out one day that she works in music, Bon Bon works in candy making, and I'm trying for a music career as well. All creative professions. So I guess it makes sense that we've got a creative trio here.

Whenever this group was together, an idea that the other two liked and wanted to take action on would always come out of one of our mouths. Adding another entry to list was just a part of the group's meetings. But one day, a certain idea came about that drowned out everything else almost instantly.

A while ago, when we were hanging out at the doughnut shop, enjoying those delicious round treats courtesy of expert Doughnut Joe, the three of us randomly came up with an idea for a short film. It came out of complete nowhere; filming anything was something that we had never talked about in this group. But after a small, basic idea for something was brought to light by Lyra, we all then brought in more ideas that could go with it, put the pieces together, and eventually, it came to a point where we really wanted to create this film. It was something we just couldn't back down from; we had to go do it as soon as possible. We all immediately scheduled the next available day as when we would shoot that film.

And here, today is the day.

"So this is what it feels like to finally get to put something into action after it's been on the waiting list for so long!", Lyra says.

"Yes! And the wait part is what makes it even more satisfying when you do get to do it!", Bon Bon responds, giving her BFF a hoof-bump.

"I agree!", I say. "Instant gratification is not as fulfilling!"

The ponies nod.

I strap on the camera bag I was designated to carry, we take our last checks to make sure we didn't miss anything, and head out the front door for our big day.

We had already decided on our filming location; it would be an area way out in the outskirts of Ponyville that is a field of grass surrounded by trees in all directions, and having nothing but one picnic table. It was pretty boring for most activities, but perfect for a film! There likely won't be anybody else there, and there's tons of wide open space. Plus, the backdrop looks super cool. It didn't take us long to select this place.

Things are clearly going well on our film day. Now walking deep into the rural, nature-dominated regions of the Ponyville area, we continue to express to each other how great things are about to be.

"I've got to hand it to you, P4, we sure knew what was the thing we wanted to do the most. I think we've got more energy than we ever have when this group started.", Bon Bon says to me.

"Yeah! This should be the group's most memorable moment!, I say.

"I have nothing but agreement with that!", Lyra responds. "What could be more memorable than a recording?"

I don't know, but... hopefully we're correct.

We reach our filming location and begin to set up. We had our duties split in the shooting of this film: I was designated to be the one who checks the equipment periodically to make sure no errors are occurring, and then to be the one who speaks the "action" and "cut" commands, as well as counting takes. I was going to be entirely behind the scenes.

Then, Bon Bon is the camera-holder, except in the areas where she'll be on-screen, in which case, I will take over. Shouldn't be hard; it's a pretty simplistic film where we're only using three cameras.

Then Lyra is the main actor. While not her profession, being a musician did give Lyra experience with being on camera, so we thought she would be the best choice for the actor (or actress, in her case) role, which she agreed to.

What our film is going to be about? Oh yeah, that. Well basically, it's about appreciating nature. That's why we chose an area like this. Lyra was going to talk about unwinding and enjoying the moment in this kind of environment; a place that lacks basically everything you're used to if you live in an urbanized area, and might hand you things you weren't prepared for.

Sounds good to me.

We complete our setup, confirming that all the equipment is up and in order. Lyra takes a last look at the script, Bon Bon gets hold of the first camera, and our long-awaited moment begins.

I perform my role. "Take 1.", I say. "3, 2, 1, action!"

Several minutes in, the filming appears to be going as great as it could. I've been checking; no equipment issues, Bon Bon holding the camera steady, Lyra doing the acting incredibly well... yeah, today might be our big d-


Right in the middle of a near-perfect recording, at the most devastating-to-the-film time, a buzzer shows up. Specifically, a buzzer with yellow and black stripe pattern and a long, narrow body. No need to ask what this was.

"Cut, cut, cut!", I shout hastily as I sprint over to the sides of the field and go hide behind the trees, trying to stay out of the insect's view. Yeah, I've got a fear of wasps. Big time. I've never been stung, not once in my life. But I think that actually exacerbates the fear, because I really don't ever want to know what getting stung feels like. I want to keep that perfect streak alive.

Lyra and Bon Bon also noticed very quickly what was going on. "Oh shoot.", Lyra says. "Yeah, how about we stay back for a while?" Naturally, they are scared too, and run into the woods, just like me.

None of us make any attempt to fight the wasp, following the advice we've heard since childhood: "If you don't bother the wasp, it won't bother you."

Um, is that exactly true, though?

I'm not really sure, especially not right now. In our current case, the wasp seems to be actively trying to bother us! When we're not doing anything to it! Despite us doing our best, and mostly succeeding, at staying completely still, the wasp flies around us much more than anything else. First approaching me, causing me to retreat further and further into the woods, then flying straight to where Lyra and Bon Bon are; yeah, this was no ordinary wasp.

The three of us try to communicate with each other from our far-away bases. We'd like to be together in any scary situation like this, but given the split duties thing, we were all spread out when recording, and upon seeing the wasp, we wanted to get away as soon as possible. Lyra and Bon Bon had managed to stay together, but I was split off, on the complete opposite end of the field from them.

We try to make out why the wasp is sticking around us so much.

"Is there a nest around here?", I say. "Does the wasp think we're trying to invade the colony or something?", I say after I carefully make my way back to the front of the woods.

"There doesn't seem to be a nest around here.", Bon Bon says. "I haven't seen a single other wasp yet, and I don't hear any more noise."

"I don't think there's one either, but we should stay on the lookout.", Lyra says.

Yeah, she has a good point. Let's not assume that this wasp is alone.

After we finish speaking, the wasp does start flying around the open field, not approaching any of us. Thinking it might be done with us now, we keep hiding and try to wait until it flies away.

But it doesn't. It keeps flying and flying in the open field, and eventually, again heads straight for Lyra and Bon Bon.

They go deeper into the woods in an attempt to avoid the insect, to a point where I cannot communicate with them. Goodness, it will be even worse if one of them gets stung now, because what will I do? I won't be able to notice from where I'm at, and I'll be afraid to go over to their area in fear that I'll get stung as well.

I do nothing but lean against a tree and wait to see if they come back.

Fortunately, they do, and say to me "It's in the open field now, and we didn't get stung."

I say "Okay, good.", in response, but "good" is not the proper word here. We're not free from this, not at all. The wasp is still in the open field, and continuing to fly closer to Lyra and Bon Bon.

"Ahh, we have no escape route!", I say loudly. "What are we supposed to do here? And why? When we talked about appreciating nature, we didn't mean this!", I shout.

The ponies seem lost for words. Maybe they're thinking the same thing as me, just expressing it without outward anger. I can hardly see their faces from this distance, so I don't know.

But later, I find out that Bon Bon must have been thinking of a strategy, as she calls us into action, bringing up a way we could possibly get a hold of things here.

"Okay everyone, I've got an idea.", she says. "First off, let's take our positions. I will come out and stand in the field. Player 4, you stay there. Lyra, you go to the bench."

Lyra and I oblige, putting full trust into Bon Bon. We had no idea what she was talking about, but we weren't going to question it. We'll do almost anything to escape a wasp threat, and if someone has an idea, we'll take it. It's better than nothing. And I could only assume that she was telling me to stay where I was because she knew I was especially scared of stinging insects. I do remember having told her about it. So that was good.

We also agree on taking action at all. At this point, it was clear to us that we couldn't just wait this out. We had to fight back against this wasp somehow; it was simply not leaving. Risky? Oh yes, absolutely! But the way we see it, this is the only way out.

The three of us go into position, and Bon Bon brings up her strategy.

"Okay everyone, here's what we're going to do. I've got this really long swatter that I keep with me in my emergency case. I'll hide in the trees and swat at the wasp from a good distance, then follow it and swat again, then quickly go back into the trees so that it won't see me. If the wasp can't tell where the swatter is coming from, it might get scared and fly away!

"Okay! That could work!", I say.

I knew about the nature of wasps and was quite scared that Bon Bon would get herself stung here, but I do believe that she is being as safe as possible. The swatter is long, she'll keep hiding, and wasps do get scared, don't they? I mean, it could work.

Before going into action, though, Bon Bon realizes she's forgotten an instruction. "Oh, and as for why Lyra is on the bench, it's so we can possibly give the wasp a bigger scare later on. I feel like if we suddenly go from one attacker to two, that will help."

"Got it.", Lyra says.

I give a thumbs up; we're ready.

Bon Bon goes into wasp-warding action. She carefully hides behind a brown tree bark, pokes her hoof out to the close-to-woods location of the wasp, and gives that sucker a swat-at. Upon the near-impact, the wasp flies higher into the air and doesn't move much further. It just keeps hovering. Hmm, could be working!

Needing to do so in order to get close enough, Bon Bon steps out into the open field, and boldly goes for another swat. The wasp does move further along, and Bon Bon, being visible now, quickly runs back into the trees to avoid having the insect notice her.

The wasp doing the same thing as it did last time, Bon Bon takes another swat. This time, the wasp looks like it's going to be taking its leave, as it begins flying around at a fast speed in all directions.

"It's moving!", I say, feeling that the desired outcome is possibly imminent.

But... the wasp doesn't take off into the sky. It continues flying around the field very frantically, not leaving the area. Then when it does begin flying straight towards a specific area, its destination is... oh shoot. It flies to the picnic bench and lands on Lyra's right foreleg.


Oh, please no...

"Lyra, did it land on you?", Bon Bon says, looking from a different angle than me.

"Yes.", Lyra says in a distressed voice. "I'm scared."

"Well, just try to stay still and wait for it to fly away.", Bon Bon says.

Normally I'd agree on that, but based on what's been happening, I just can't buy into this right now. "Um, I'm not really sure that will work with this wasp.", I say.

"You do have a point.", Bon Bon responds.

Lyra does decide to wait the wasp out and see if that works, but... it doesn't. As I predicted, it just won't get off of her.

And she understandably can't handle the scary suspense.

"I can't! I'm too scared; please get it off!", she cries.

Bon Bon bravely goes over to the wasp's vicinity and tries to help her friend. She tries for a playing card as a tool, handing one to Lyra. "Try to carefully and quickly brush it off.", Bon Bon says. "I do hear that you can do that if the wasp won't leave. Here, use this."

That is true. Back on Earth, when I would look up things on how to avoid stings, I did see text like "Try to flick the insect off."

Even still, this is a risky operation. Breathing heavily, I watch from the woods and hope for the best.

Please don't let her get stung. Please don't let her get stung.

Taking any possible solution, Lyra goes for it, holding the card sideways up to the wasp and giving it a swift flick.

The wasp didn't leave. It just jumped over to another area on her leg.

Uh-oh, did she provoke it?

Well, clearly a sting hasn't happened, as she goes for it again.

Attempt #2, we get... the same result!

What in the world kind of wasp is this? Out of all the ones we could have encountered, it had to be the most confusing wasp ever? Just our luck, right?!

Two tries failed, the sting-equipped insect still on her leg, Lyra shivers more and more in fear, not really being able to contain it. How can you expect her to?

She does continue trying to get the wasp off, though, and for the third time, she tries something different, attempting to slide the card under the wasp. Maybe she's trying to surprise it by other means.

The card gets slowly moved further and further under the insect's body, good progress seemingly being made, but then suddenly, it jumps, and... from the tree-filled sidelines where I had no choice but to watch in horror, I witness a sharp, sudden drawback of a mint-green colored leg, followed by a high-pitched wimper.


Oh goodness, no.

Author's Note:

Putting aside the result for now, do you think that what we were doing here was a good idea? What would you do in this situation?