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Pocket Peaches

Pocket Peaches by Dora Wang

It’s nighttime and book club has just ended. Peaches is saying her goodbyes when she sees the new cat in Pocketon, Taro. Peaches has tried to talk to her, but Taro never seems interested in making friends; others even whisper about how odd she is. Peaches debates between saying hello or going home to her cozy bed. Okay, that’s it… OPERATION FRIENDSHIP IS A GO!

Taro leaves and Peaches says “hi” as she passes, but Taro completely ignores her. Peaches spots Taro’s forgotten book, The Book of Monsters, on the table and tries to return it, but Taro is nowhere to be seen and the only one around is some stuffy random wolf. Sigh, Peaches will just have to give the book back next week. Back at home, Peaches takes a look in Taro’s book and finds it full of information like Beginner charms, Legend of the Giant Kraken and How to defeat werewolves. It’s a little too intense for Peaches, so she hides it under her bed before snuggling down to sleep with Sesame, her pet dog, and her carrot plushie.

The next morning at the bakery, Peaches meets up with her pals Mango and Pogi. As Peaches eats the absolutely scrumptious lemon poppy loaf, she tells her friends about Taro forgetting her book, how it’s super scary and gave her nightmares about monster carrots chasing her. Pogi has a theory that Taro is a magical cat. It started because when Taro moved in, it was a dark and stormy night and Pogi heard strange noises coming from Taro’s apartment and saw flashes of light then she got too scared and ran away. Mango says it may have been witchcraft or maybe she was watching a movie, anywho are they still on for Friday’s movie night? Heck yeah, they need to watch the finale of MewMew Dream Guardian. They ponder what could happen before Mango and Pogi have to get back to work. 

The next day Peaches and Sesame are walking in the park when Peaches spots Taro sitting under a tree. Next to Taro, some mean people say mean things before throwing a water balloon at Taro. Shocked, Peaches starts to make sure that Taro is okay but then Sesame steals some kid’s hotdog and runs off so Peaches has to chase him down. When the hullabaloo is over, Taro is gone. As Sesame enjoys his spoils and Peaches enjoys a legally obtained hotdog, she chats with her friend Cream who is out for a jog. Cream hasn’t seen Taro, though notes Taro is an interesting one. She was invited to a party by Sprout but declined. Peaches realizes befriending Taro is harder than expected.

Later, after Peaches has finished grocery shopping, she runs into Taro on the bus home. Peaches introduces herself and lets Taro know she has her book and how she tried to tell her in the park yesterday but there was a whole stolen hotdog incident. Peaches also notes that those kids were really rude, and Taro tells her they thought she was a witch so she pretended to curse them. Genius! Peaches asks what books Taro likes to read, and Taro says she's into anything supernatural, spooky or fantasy. She also really likes horror movies. Peaches may be lying a little when she says she enjoys those types of movies too and fumbles a recommendation about a clown who’s also a vampire. As Taro is getting off the bus, Peaches invites her to Friday’s movie night and says they’re going to watch something scary and she accepts the invitation. Peaches is very happy that OPERATION FRIENDSHIP is working.

Meanwhile, Mango and Pogi are making cupcakes to get ready for movie night and debating the cake to frosting ratio. Peaches calls with a change of plans for Friday’s movie, they’re now going to watch Tourist Trapped III. Mango points out Peaches hates scary movies, but Peaches insists she’s not a scaredy cat anymore. Pogi is dramatically devastated by the change of movies. 

The next day is Friday, and as Peaches cleans her house, Pogi tries to resist Doogling the ending of MewMew before he and Mango meet with Taro to head to Peaches’ house together. Taro has left her bus pass in her apartment so Pogi uses this as an opportunity to snoop, pretending he needs to use the bathroom. The apartment is pretty bare, there are unpacked boxes everywhere and in one Pogi finds what looks like a wand. When Taro has her bus pass, together they head out. 

Meanwhile, Peaches has burnt the popcorn. Not the best way to start movie night. Taro, Mango and Pogi arrive just before a huge storm starts. Peaches distributes cozy fluffy, extra heavy and super soft blankets, makes sure everyone has a drink, and then they have cupcakes Mango made and chat. Taro tells them that her old town was very small and small-minded. Once Peaches makes a new batch of popcorn, they settle in to watch the movie. Peaches and Pogi aren’t really enjoying it and Peaches takes the opportunity to duck out to make more popcorn when she can. She should have stayed in her cozy bed. 

Peaches lingers outside the living room door, she doesn’t want to go back to the movie. Taro comes out and gives her a shock causing Peaches to throw her glass and cover Taro in lemonade. Taro heads to the bathroom to clean up, and Mango and Pogi come to check if everything is okay. No, Peaches is having a mini breakdown over what she sees as a tragedy of a night. She’s still a big scaredy cat and doesn’t like horror even though she told Taro that she does. Ah! That’s why they’re not watching MewMew! Mango tells Peaches to tell Taro the truth. Nope, can't do that, just got to push through. 

Peaches goes back into the kitchen to get a towel to clean the spilled lemonade and notices the kitchen window is open, letting the storm in and soaking Taro’s book. Nooooo! Peaches picks it up and goes to hide in her bedroom. Mango and Pogi come in and tell Peaches they can stop watching the movie, Peaches admits it’s not the movie that has her upset this time, it's what has happened to Taro’s book. Taro is walking by as Peaches is dramatically exclaiming “This night is a disaster. Maybe I can hide up here and avoid Taro forever!” 

Taro looks sad and is willing to leave. She gets it. It’s not the first time people have wanted to avoid her. Peaches rushes after her and admits to being a big scaredy cat and how she lied about liking horror just so they could watch a movie together. Peaches likes cute and fluffy and round things, and she is sorry she lied, she just wanted to be friends. Taro admits to not being great at expressing her feelings, and because of that, people generally find her odd. Nobody has tried so hard to be her friend though. Peaches and Taro return to Mango and Pogi, Pogi excited that they may get to watch MewMew after all. Taro absolutely freaking loves MewMew! Well, there is still time to watch it and a few cupcakes left so the friends settle in on the sofa together.

When the movie is finished, they’re all happy and discussing what happened. Taro drops the bombshell that there is an animated TV series of MewMew and they plan a three day slumber party to binge it. The next day, after work, more popcorn is made, games are logged off, and the new friends settle in at Peaches’ house for the MewMew marathon.

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