When people think of the after life they picture winged cherubs playing in the clouds. A place where every second is better then the last, where sadness and loneliness are forgotten emotions. But what about the people who do not go towards the bright light? The sprits, who are trapped on this mortal coil for reasons greater than death itself. Reasons that very few will ever understand and even less will experience. Stuck in a void of misery and loneliness, reaching out to the ones they love for comfort but getting nothing in return, longing for something more then the desolation that has commandeered their existence. Sadly they spend the rest of their after life trapped in a existence that is worse than death itself.


Rikers Island

January 8, 2004

Beecher kept his eyes down as the CO lead him back to his cell. He tried to climb up to his bunk but the Demerol had not taken effect yet. He winced at the stabbing pain that flowed up from his backside. Instead he decided to lie on O'Reily's bunk until the pain medication kicked in.

Both men watched as Beecher walks in to the cell and tried to get on the top bunk. They both noticed Toby's struggle to climb to the upper bund and his failure. "Has he changed?"

"Nope he's still the same. Hasn't spoken a word since he got the letter from his mother."

"It looks like they beat the hell out of him."

"They did."

"Shit O'Reily."

"It happened two weeks ago in the shower. Busmalis saw the whole thing and told me about it. I got in there and some guy was kicking the shit out of Toby. From what I saw, he was being beatin', and he didn't even try to fight back nor cry out in pain. That freaked me more than the beating."

"Why the hell do you care about him O'Reily? He ain't Irish. You getting' soft?"

"Fuck off Alvarez. I ain't fucking soft. Beecher watched my back when I needed it; I am just returning the favor. Now step off burrito boy or you will be eating enchiladas through a straw." With that O'Reily went back to his cell to keep a better eye on Beecher. Ryan remembered the last time Beecher spoke. It had been in his dreams that same night he got the letter. Ryan could have sworn that Toby was talking to Keller, but it did not make sense at the time. In the morning he found out what had transpired, and it all became clear. Turned out his mother had cut off all ties with her Toby. She had taken her grandchildren away from the "murderous sociopath that was now her son". After that Beecher just shut down. Ryan thought he would snap out of it in a week, but six months later he was still the same. If it was any other inmate Ryan would not have lifted a finger to help, but Beecher had been his brother when he had needed. Now it was time to return to favor. For the first few days it had been a pain in the ass being Beecher's baby sitter, but it slowly grew on him. Toby began to remind him of Cyril. An adult that could not, or would not in this case, take care of himself without Ryan's help. The fact that Beecher's hair had started to grow made the illusion even stronger. O'Reily realized that he was trying to make up for all the times he let down his brother through Beecher. He was doing a great fucking job too, letting Toby get the shit beat out of him and who knows what else. No would tell him what had happened and Beecher was not talking, but something big had to have happened because they kept him in the hospital until today.

"Beecher you're back." When Tobias heard Ryan speaking he began to get up, but the hand on his shoulder caused him to flinch and stop moving. Ryan felt the tremor shot through the man sitting on his bad and he knew what had happened. "Shit Tobias I am sorry I let this happen to you. You don't have to worry I heard Muller tragically OD a few days ago." Ryan hoped for some kind of reaction from Beecher, but he remained as dead as before. "Rumor has it they are shipping us back to Oz later this week. Ryan immediately saw the fear in his eyes. "It's going to be ok buddy. I am going to keep you safe. I promise. It will be easy. Remember K-boy took out all the Aryan fuckers." Ryan wished he could take those words back as soon as they came out. Beecher quietly sobbed as he remembered again all that he had lost. Even though he never spoke of it, Ryan knew it still hurt him inside. He listened to Beecher cry out in his sleep, 'I'm sorry, Chris; it was an accident I swear.' Toby had always been one to keep a strangle hold and this was no exception. Ryan decided to change the subject. "Stay on my bunk. You do not need to rip any stitches trying to get on your bunk." With that said Ryan climbed up and waited for the lights to go out.


Later That Night

Hey Toby. How you been?

Damn it Chris. Will you leave me alone?

You know I can't do that babe. Not after you killed me.

It was an accident Chris. I swear.

I believe you Tobe but that still does not change the fact that I am dead and you are the one who pushed me. You should know this by now. You have been haunted by the memory of that little girl you killed for how long now? But that is just a memory. I am the real deal. I don't know how well informed you are on the after life, but sometimes us spirits don't move on. Guess what? I am one of those. I guess getting killed by the man you loved can have that effect on you.

It was an accident.

I know it was babe, which is why I am not mad. I just wish I could actually be with you and I know you feel the same. Especially after you got that letter.

How do you know about that?

I'm dead Beech. I know everything. Oh, O'Reily knows too. You really need to pay more attention if you want to avoid repeats of the shower.

I don't care any more Chris.

I can tell, bud. You could have taken that fucker but you didn't lift a finger to stop him. That is not the Toby I knew and loved. What happened to you man?

What the fuck is there to care about. Even when we were not talking I still had hope because even if we did not make up I knew I still had my kids. Now that is gone. So what the fuck is there left to live for Chris? There use to be light as the end of the tunnel, now that has been bricked up by Oz. As I see it, if I die now then it will save me a life of loneliness. Plus I won't fuck over anyone else's life.

Toby I think you are being a little hard on yourself.

You think so. Well then let's look at the lives I've destroyed in the past seven years. It started with the Rockwell's when I killed their daughter. Then it spread to Gen when she went and killed herself. Let's not forget my kids were the ones who found her. Then I basically set up Andy to be killed. He wasn't even twenty-one. He was actually trying to change, and I fucked him over. Then Gary and Holly were kidnapped, my brother was stabbed, and my father was killed. Is that everyone that was fucked over by me? Oh wait, there was Hank too. I hired a hit man to take him out, and you took the blame for that.

So what? You want to be like me Toby? Stuck in this hell on Earth. Waiting every second to be noticed but knowing you are stuck in this nothingness. You don't know how well you got it Beech. At least you are still alive.

How can you judge me Chris? You do not know what it is like to have your family abandon you.

That's low Beecher and you know it.

"I'm sorry Chris I didn't…

Whatever Beech. Have a good night ass. With that Keller slowly faded away.

Wait Chris don't go, please. Damn it.


January 11, 2004

"Ok guys today is the return to OZ and like I told you before, you guys are going back to EM city. Originally we were going to shut it down but I was able to convince Warden Glynn to keep it open."

"Right. You mean you nagged him until you got your way."

Zip it O'Reily. Like I was saying before I was interrupted, all the same rules apply as before. Nothing is going to change. When we finally get there you will be given your pod assignments and your work schedule. Some of you will have the same jobs, but others are bound to change. Now get the hell on the bus.

One by one the inmates climbed on to the bus and took their seats. Beecher grabbed a spot by a window and O'Reily took the spot next to him. Toby tried to hide his fear by playing with the chain that was hanging between his legs. "Beecher I know you are nervous about going back, but if you do not stop playing with those chains I am going to shank you." Beecher let the chains drop and just stared forward. "Fuck this is going to be a long ass ride home."


EM City

Later That Day

"McManus. I need a minute of your time."

"Go away O'Reily. I have nothing to say to you."

"Fine then, just listen but I have a feeling you will change your mind. Where are you putting Beecher?"

"Why does it matter?"

Because who you put him with will determine if he will being meeting with Dr. Nathan bleeding from the ass again."

"What the fuck are talking about O'Reily? You and I both know that Beecher is more than capable to take care of himself."

"Not for the last six months he hasn't."

"Again, what the fuck are you talking about?"

"They did not tell you a damn thing about what happened to us, did they?"

"No they didn't. So spill it or get out of my way."

"About six months ago Beech got a letter from his mother. Basically she told him that she was taking the kids and getting away from him, so he couldn't fuck up their lives any more than he already has."

"She can't do that."

"She can and she did. I think Beecher said that he gave up custody of them after he broke his parole. After he got that letter he basically shut down. He will not do a damn thing unless he is told to and he has not spoken since . He doesn't even defend himself anymore. He got attacked two weeks ago in the shower and never did any thing to try and stop it. I think he has given up. After losing Keller, then his kids I think he feels he has nothing to live for. So depending on who you put him with will determine if he makes it out of here or not."

"Holy hell. Who do you suggest I put him with?"

"I was taking care of him in Rikers. I don't mind doing it here too."

"And what do you want in exchange?"

"Nothing."

"Bull fucking shit. You never do something for nothing. I know you. If I do this, you will come back later saying that I owe you."

"Sometimes people change."

"You are right but you are not one of those people. Why do you give a fuck what happens to him?"

"Because he is my brother."

"What the fuck are you talking about? Your only brother is dead."

"I asked Beecher to be my brother and watch my back during the riot and he did. And I kind of miss it. You know I use to take care of Cyril and I did it for my dad too. Now that both of them are gone, I feel a little empty inside."

"Fine. He was by himself but you can bunk with him if you want. He is in his old pod." With that said McManus turned around and headed towards his office.

Fuck. If just mentioning Oz freaked out Beech what is being stuck in his old pod going to do to him. Ryan quickly returned to his old pod, gathered all of his possessions and headed to his new one. When he got there, he noticed that Beecher was sitting on the floor curled up slowly rocking. "Hey Toby are you ok? Come on buddy. Why don't we get you off the floor? It is going to be ok Beech, they are just memories. They cannot hurt you." Ryan placed Toby on the bottom bunk and watched as he curled up and closed his eyes. He gently petted his hair like he use to do when he put Cyril to bed. "It is going to be different this time. You are going to be ok."


He just kept putting one foot in front of the other, while the guard lead him towards his new cage. Each step he took felt like a mile. The longer he walked, the more the apprehension and fear built up. Finally the guard stopped and said something Toby could not hear. He looked up and recognized his old pod and all the memories came flooding back. The night of no holds bared animalistic sex. The verbal and physical assaults. The good and the bad just mixed together making him a debilitated mass. He saw the guard move his lips but nothing seemed to come out. Suddenly his face was slammed in to the glass in front of him and a nightstick was pushed in to the back of his head. His body went limp and everything began to slowly fade away. The last thing he saw before unconsciousness fully set in was the concerned face of Chris looking down at him. For some reason that brought a smile to his face.

Those fucking assholes. You ok Toby?

Yeah I'm fine.

You have got to start defending yourself babe.

It won't make a difference if I did.

Like hell it won't. O'Reily can only do so much. He has his own enemies. He may not be here tomorrow. You have got to be ready to take care of yourself. Also look at O'Reily's record. Both Cyril and his old man are dead. You are better off watching your own ass.

Whatever Chris.

Don't say whatever. Do you want to end up with another Vern? Getting fucked up the ass every night again. Do you want to be beaten and humiliated on a daily basis again? I thought you were done playing the prag. I thought you had more pride than that.

Shut up Chris. Just shut the fuck up.

No. You need to wake the fuck up and stop wallowing in your own self-pity. That or just fucking kill yourself. Because you are a waste of a life living as you are now.

Leave me alone. Please just leave me alone. Toby jumped slightly when he felt hands on his shoulders. He looked up to see Ryan looking down at him. His mouth was moving but he could not understand what he was saying. All he heard was "Toby" "memories" and "hurt you". What was he talking about? Could Ryan understand what I am going through? He had lost his brother and his father. Maybe he does know. No! He doesn't. He has Gloria. He has someone who cares about him. Even at his lowest point he always has someone to fall back on. He does not know what it is like to be completely and utterly alone. He allowed the man to lift him to his feet and move him over to the bottom bunk. Toby turned to his side, pulled his knees up to his chest, and wrapped his arms around them. When he closed his eyes to shut out the world out, he could have sworn that someone petted his hair and told him it would be ok.


Chris watched Toby sleep from a distance. "Come on Toby. Snap out of it. You have got to start protecting yourself."