Eric Down Under
Chapter Three: Friends and Foes

Slowly Eric surfaced the ocean of sleep. He could hear the birds sing outside, and the sun was shining through his closed eyelids, so he could see a red gleam. He felt very refreshed, and fragments of his dreams still floated in his mind. Eric didn't remember exactly what he had dreamt, but he was sure that Danny had been a part of it. Maybe the first night's dream under the new roof would become reality some time.

Eric didn't really want to open his eyes. He felt so cozy right now, lying in this soft warm bed, with the usual morning hard-on and the visions in his head. But on the other side, he wanted to know what time it was, because the sun seemed to be pretty high already. And furthermore, he was hungry again. This was still like a holiday for him, and somehow he was always hungry in holidays.

So he forced himself to open his eyes and to have a look at his watch. When he saw the time, he jumped up and almost fell out of the bed.

"WHAT!" He shouted. "9.45 am? Now that's great. My first day here, and I already overslept. Now Eric, hurry up, or you won't get breakfast anymore!"

Eric rushed out of his bed and quickly finished his morning toilet. He looked out of the window and saw that it was a sunny day and already pretty warm. Then he grabbed some fresh clothes out of his baggage and got dressed with shorts and shirt. Ok, now Eric was ready for his first day in Australia.

He ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Mandy was already cleaning the breakfast dishes from the rest of the family.

"Oh, good morning sleepyhead. Looks like you slept very well, either you were really tired or it's the Australian air. Now come over here, give me a hug and kiss, and I'll give you your breakfast!"

Eric went over to Mandy and gave her a good morning kiss, just as he was used to greet his mom at home in Germany. He didn't even think about it, it just felt right.

"Morning Mandy. Hey, why didn't you wake me up earlier, so I could have my breakfast together with the rest of you? And besides, where are they all?"

"Ah, don't worry honey. It's your first day, and I decided to let you sleep as long as you want to get used to our time zone here. The others? Well, Stan is at work, Adam and Lin are with some friends, and Danny is just buying some things for me. He'll be back soon, so he can show you around the town and introduce you to his friends. Fortunately, you have some days until school starts, so enjoy the free time. Carpe diem, honey! But now sit down and eat, that's an order!"

Eric did not oppose. He had some pancakes, eggs, toast, coffee and orange juice. Almost trice the amount of food he was used to eat in Germany. He ate all what Mandy gave him, and then he sat back and sighed satisfied.

"Ah, that was great. Thanks Mandy, that was the best breakfast I ever had in my entire life. I didn't know that I could eat that much. If you always cook like that, I'll soon look like a sumo wrestler."

"C'mon Eric. I'm sure you're mom also gave you good things to eat all the time. It's just the new experience to eat here. You know, it always seems to taste better when you're in holiday. Wait some days, and it will just be business as usual, believe me."

The kitchen's back door opened and Danny came in with some bags. He put them on the table and grinned to Eric.

"Hey, you finally got your lazy ass out of bed? Morning buddy, how was the first night. I'm sure you had an interesting dream?" he said, blinking and smiling.

Eric didn't quite know what Danny meant. Should he be alluding to Eric's late night action?

"Uh, morning bro." he replied. "Thanks, I had a great night, but I don't remember my dreams."

That was not quite the truth, but not a lie either.

"Don't be so modest. I'm sure you dreamt of me!"

Eric started to blush a bit again.

"Hey dude!" Danny said. "Just gimme some minutes, and then we can go out and I'll show you around. We'll meet some of my friends later, they are already looking forward to meet you."

Danny went out of the kitchen and Eric wanted to help Mandy cleaning the table and packing away the food that Danny had brought.

"Hey, young man. What do you think you're doing here?"

"Uh, help you?"

"Help me? Oh, you're really a sweety. But that's my job, I'm the housewife. And it's your job to have fun today, as I said earlier. You will get your family chores soon enough!"

"Ok, you're the boss!" Eric replied and went out, whistling a little melody.

He thought about calling his parents again, but decided against it. Germany was 9 hours behind, so it would be in the middle of the night there. And furthermore, he had called them last night before he had gone to bed. They knew he was all right, and they didn't need to know more by now. He had nothing to tell at the moment, it would be only wasted money. He would call them this night or maybe tomorrow night, that was soon enough.

Danny came down the stairs, dressed like Eric in shorts and shirt. They put on their sneakers and left the house, shouting a bye to Mandy.

They walked around the streets for quite a while, Danny showing Eric the important places of the town. General store, bakery, bus stop, stuff like that. Danny wanted to go to a friends house when they suddenly heard somebody shouting from behind.


They turned around and Eric saw a girl running towards them. She was a bit shorter than the two boys, with long brown hair and brown eyes. A pretty beautiful girl, a girl to fall in love with, at least unless you were gay. Eric was gay, but nevertheless he saw the beauty of that girl.

"Danny, I just was at your house." The girl said. "You weren't there, but your mom told me that you were on tour with your new bro."

She reached the boys and kissed Danny on the cheeks. Could she be his girlfriend?

"Hi Danny, how are you? I just came back from my holiday yesterday night and wanted to see if your buddy already arrived."

"Hi Trish!" Danny answered. "Yeah, he's here, as you can see. Oh, I think I should introduce you two. Ok, Trish, this is Eric Philips, my German brother. Eric, this is Patricia Taylor, but we call her Trish. I know her since I was a little boy."

"Hi Eric!" Trish said. "Nice to meet you, I'm sure we'll get good friends, too."

Trish and Eric shook hands, and then Trish kissed Eric, just as she did before with Danny.

"Hi Trish! Yeah, I hope so."

"So where are you two hot boys going?" Trish asked.

"Oh, I just showed Eric around a bit." Danny replied. "And now I wanted to go the King's house. Maybe Chris is there, too."

"Sounds good. Would you mind me joining you?"

"No, of course not!" They both said in unison.

"Ok, then what are we waiting for?"

So Trish, Eric and Danny walked on together and soon they reached the house of Danny's friend Owen. They went to the door and Danny just opened the door and stepped in without ringing the bell or knocking.

"HEY, ANYBODY HOME?" Danny shouted. "Owen, get your ass over here, you have guests!"

"Danny? Is that you?" A voice asked from upstairs.

"No, I'm the pope, I want to canonize you." Danny called back.

A boy came running down the stairs, a bit taller than Eric, and with fire red curly hair. He looked very athletic, no fat, only muscles.

"Hey guys, cool that you're here. Just got a call from Chris, he'll be here in some minutes. Oh, you must be Eric. Danny told me a lot about you. My name's Owen, Owen King, at your service. It's cool to have you here for the next year."

They made a high five and Owen led them all in the living room. Eric was happy. He was glad that Danny's friends accepted him as one of them at once. He would have had a problem if they hadn't liked him. He did not want to stand between Danny and his old friends.

So they talked a bit and Eric had to answer a lot of questions about Germany and his flight to Australia. Some minutes later, the front door opened again and another boy came in.

"Ah, finally we are complete!" Trish said. "Hey Chris, meet Eric!"

"Eric? Who's Eric?" Chris asked.

"Oh boy, where do you have your head?" Trish sighed. "How often did we talk about it? Eric is the exchange student from Germany who lives with the Jackson's for the next year."

"Oh, yes, I remember. Hi Eric, I'm Chris Cafkas!"

Chris was just as tall as Eric and Danny, and he had short bleached hair and grey eyes.

"Eric Philips." Eric replied and shook Chris' hand.

"Hey Eric, you should know one thing about Chris." Owen said. "He changes his hair color more often than other people their underwear. I don't even know the original color. Something dark, I think. And don't wonder about his eyes. He has colored contact lenses, and he always tries to match them with his hair color."

"Yeah!" Trish added. "Chris is kind of a freak, but a nice one."

"So, now you know the whole clique. What do you think?" Danny asked.

"Well, as far as I can say by now, it was the right decision to come down under. You look like a bunch of great people. I hope I'll fit in."

"No problem dude!" the others said.

They sat together for some more time and chatted. Eric once again had to tell about his home, and he heard something about their school, the sports he could do, and other possibilities for free time activities.

Suddenly Danny looked at his watch and jumped up.
"Shit! C'mon Eric, we have to go. Mom will wait with the lunch."

So they quickly said good bye again to their friends, made an appointment for later and hurried to get home.

It wasn't very far from Owen's house to the Jacksons. And there even was a shortcut through a small wood, where Danny led Eric now. They jogged, not too fast to get out of breath, but fast enough to sweat in the heat of the noon. They had already crossed half of the wood when Danny stopped and held Eric back.

"Bullshit!" he said silently to Eric. "You see those three guys over there."

Eric looked in the direction Danny pointed and saw three guys leaning on some trees, smoking cigarettes. They looked a bit older, maybe 17 or 18, and they were all wearing black leather jackets with skulls on the backs and heavy leather boots. Their heads were almost shaved bald, only a little fluff of back hair was to be seen.

"They don't look very friendly." Eric said.

"They aren't, believe me. You really have to beware of those guys. The guy in the middle with that dog collar around his neck is Kyle. He's the local bully and the boss of that little gang. The fat one on the left is called Richie. He's pretty stupid, but strong as an ox. He adores Kyle and does everything he says. The third one is Kevin. He's just a hanger-on, and if you meet him alone, he's a coward. But together with the other bastards, he feels very strong. Especially when he can kick somebody who lies on the ground. We better get back before they see us. I'd prefer being late for lunch than facing those guys here and now."

But it was too late, the big boys had already seen them and were running in their direction. Before Danny and Eric had a chance to react, they were encircled.

"Now look what we've got here." Richie said, grinning stupidly. "Two little rats. May I break their noses, boss?"

"Shut up Richie!" Kyle said. "Hey, I know you. You're that Jackson boy, the brother of that bitch who gave me a refusal. But who are you? I never saw you here before. Better open your mouth and answer, asshole, before I get angry!"

"Leave us alone Kyle." Danny said. "We didn't do you anything."

"I did not talk to you, Jackson. I'll deal with you later, don't worry." Kyle replied angrily. "I talked to that friend of you. Hey, now I know. You two are fucking fags, and you want to fuck that ass right now."

The jerks laughed dirtily and started to push Eric around, thrusting him from one to the other.

"Hey, hört auf ihr Idioten. Ihr Halbstarken fühlt euch doch nur wohl, wenn ihr in der Überzahl seid!" Eric said.

"What?" Richie said. "Hey, what language does that freak speak? I don't understand a word."

"I think it is German." Kevin answered. "I understand some words, and I think he said something like we were idiots."

"Idiots?" Kyle shouted. "Oh, wait you bastard, I'll show you who's the idiot here!"

He punched Eric with both hands at the chest, sending him at the ground. Danny tried to help Eric, but he was seized by Kevin. Eric got back on his knees and Kyle stood threatening in front of him.

"And now you'll apologize for your insults and kiss my boots. Or else I will kick your jaw in pieces, so you can eat with a straw for the next weeks. C'mon, I'm not used to wait."

"So einfach kriegst du mich nicht, du Drecksack!"

Eric looked up at Kyle and focused his eyes on the bully's crotch. Then he thrust his head forward with all his power, hitting Kyle right in the family jewelry. The big guy collapsed without a sound and rolled himself up on the ground. When Danny saw this, he reacted immediately. He kicked back at Kevin and hit the guy's shin bone with his heel. Kevin cried out loud, both surprised and in pain, and let Danny free.

"C'MON ERIC, RUN!" Danny yelled.

Eric jumped up and they both ran as fast as they could. But they didn't need to hurry. Kyle was still lying on the ground, Kevin held his aching leg and Richie just stood there with an open mouth and looked stupidly. His brain was to slow to realize what had happened so fast, and he was too fat to have a chance to catch Eric and Danny. So the boys slowed down a bit and looked back, ever ready to speed up again.

After some time, Kyle had caught his breath again and sat up. He looked towards Danny and Eric, took a jack knife out of his pocket and gesticulated with it.

"You're gonna pay for this, you fags. Both of you. I'm gonna teach you not to mess with me. I'm gonna kill you. And I'll get your sister, Jackson."

But Eric and Danny didn't care about him anymore. They just continued their way home, very relieved that nothing worse had happened.

"You don't have to take him too serious, dude." Danny said. "He thinks he can push around everybody, and he likes to threat people. But he hardly ever gets really brutal. But hey, that was a good move. You hit him where it hurts most."

"Yeah, and you reacted just right. That fat guy didn't even realize what happened."

"That was our luck. Oh, by the way, don't care about what they said. They call everyone a fag. Just don't listen to them."

"Don't worry, I won't. Now that was a crazy first morning. I've met my first friends here and some minutes later my first foes. I'm curious what happens next."

He really didn't care about being called a fag. Maybe it wasn't the most polite word for a queer teen, but it was the truth. He was gay, and he was proud of it, even if he didn't want to shout it out loud, at least not yet.

They reached their house and got in, dirty and hungry, but laughing again. Mandy looked a bit puzzled at them when she saw them, Eric covered with dust and with some scratches at the arms and knees, but they told her no to worry about it and she didn't ask anymore. Boys of that age had to take care of their businesses alone.

So they washed a bit and sat at the table, where Adam and Lin were already eating.

Adam looked up and only asked: "Kyle?"


"You won?"


"Cool. You really know how to make friends, Eric!"

Then they all finished their lunch silently. Eric smiled at himself and looked forward for some more action.

Copyright 1999 by The Wolf