[Home | Quicksearch | Search Engine | Random Story | Upload Story]

Written for the Oz Lyric Wheel.
Lyrics: Personal Jesus, by Depeche Mode, supplied by Dargie.
My first Miguel fic! Takes place during season one.

Family Man

by Lisa H

Miguel lay in bed, watching the figure standing at the pod door as it looked out onto the darkened prison. Finally, he slid off the bunk and pushed on Groves' arm.

"Hey, Groves, who is that?"

Donald sat up, pushing the hair from his face and looking around the small room. "Who?"

"Right there, right by the door!"

Groves shook his head, lay back down and buried his head under the blanket. "Maybe you should cut back on the stamps," he mumbled.

Miguel started to argue that he wasn't tripping, he hadn't even had anything, but stopped as he thought maybe he was. After all, he was seeing things, right? It wasn't that far a leap from holding his dead baby to seeing some homie hanging in his pod. And it wasn't even bothering him that much. This shit was messed up.

He moved a little closer, resting his hand on the sink. The figure at the door turned to face him, revealing itself in the faint light which suddenly didn't seem so faint. It was dressed in baggy pants and a sleeveless jersey, with a bandanna folded and tied around its head - standard attire for Miguel's neighborhood. It was light-skinned, though obviously Latino, dark eyes shining in the unusual light.

"Hello, Miguel."

"Who are you?" For some reason, he thought he should already know the answer to that.

"You know me."

"Bullshit. What the fuck's goin' on here?" He suddenly laughed and shook his head at himself. He had to be trippin', man. He was having a conversation with a stranger who had somehow gotten into his cell in the middle of a maximum security prison? Groves' supply of LSD-laced stamps may have run out a couple days ago, but this was definitely a hallucination of some sort.

"No, Miguel, I'm real. As real to you as anything else."

Miguel felt his blood run cold. He ran his hands over his arms, trying to calm the goose-bumps that had just appeared. He laughed again, nervously this time. Sure, if this was a hallucination, it came from his mind, right? So why wouldn't it know what he was thinking?

"Miguel, you can believe in me or not, but please, just listen to what I have to say."

"Why should I? Who the fuck are you?" Shit, there he went again, talking to nothing.

"Someone who cares."

"Cares about what?"

"About you, of course, Miguel."

"Fuck this. I'm goin' to bed."

"Wait." The figure took a step toward him and Miguel couldn't help it, he backed away until he hit the wall.

"I'm here to help. You told Father Mukada that you had found yourself, yet now you're hiding in drugs again. Hold on to yourself, Miguel."

Miguel's head spun. He kept trying to remind himself that a figment of his own imagination would know everything about him, but still... He balled his hand into a fist and pressed it against his forehead. He was dreaming, freaking out, something.

"You need to be strong. Your family will need you soon."

Miguel's confusion fled, replaced by anger. "What family? What the fuck do you know about my family, anyhow? I broke my mother's heart when I got sent up. My father and grandfather are both here, what can I do for them?" He wrapped his arms around himself. "My baby's dead. I sure ain't helpin' him."

The figment stepped closer and Miguel flinched as it reached out toward his face, stopping short of touching him. "You hurt yourself."

Miguel ran his fingers over the scar on his face. "I wanted to help my baby. It didn't work, God don't care. He let him die anyhow."

"Let me see your hands."

Without thinking, without question, Miguel held his hands out. The figure looked a long moment. "I have the same scars." It held out its own hands, fingers almost touching Miguel's. There were two circles of rough, red flesh in the center of each palm, slightly bigger than the one Miguel carried.

Miguel slammed his hands back against the wall and shut his eyes tight. "Please, go away," he moaned.

"Miguel, open your eyes." The voice was soft, but commanding. He opened his eyes, and the hallucination was back by the door. "I'll be gone soon. I just want you to know that you have the choice. You think there's no one left, and you're all alone. But you're not. You had the compassion and the need to help your baby. That's still in there, in you. There will soon come a time when that part of you will be called on again. And you'll see, God has a plan for you."

"What was his plan for my baby?" Miguel asked roughly.

A gentle smile accompanied the reply. "Not all things are immediately apparent."

"That's a bullshit answer."

"Perhaps. But you're a better man because of your child. You just need to hold on to that. Don't let his death be in vain. Now, go back to bed. The guard will be coming soon."

Miguel turned toward his bed. He paused, wrestling with himself, then slowly turned back. "I asked Father Mukada where God was when my son died, and he said -"

"He told you, the same place he was when his own son died. And you want to know where that was."

Miguel nodded, and held his breath.

The figure answered, his voice faint, the light surrounding him dimming. "He was watching. And weeping."


The next morning, Miguel woke with what almost felt like a hangover. As he splashed cold water on his face, he could barely recall the weird dream he'd had last night. Nothing specific came to mind, just a feeling that he'd had a conversation with someone. It seemed so real.


A few weeks later, Father Ray came to him in Em City. "Miguel, I need you to come with me."

"I didn't do shit."

"Miguel, please. Come on."

As they started down the hall toward Sister Pete's office, Miguel realized he wasn't in trouble, but something was very wrong.

He grabbed the priest's arm. "What's goin' on? Is it my father?"

"It's your grandfather, Miguel." Ray answered softly. "Your father is waiting for us in Sister Pete's office. We'll talk more there."

"Wait, wait." Miguel was feeling a panic he couldn't understand. He didn't even know his grandfather, why should he give a shit what was happening to him? "Is he dead?"

The priest looked at him compassionately. "No, he's not dead. He has Alzheimer's, he's very sick. Let's go on and talk to your father."

Miguel nodded and followed behind Mukada. When they entered the nun's office, the sad eyes of his father were expressing all he couldn't say. As Peter Marie and Father Ray explained his grandfather's illness, talked about the indifference the penal system had toward men like him, Miguel felt a odd calm come over him. Maybe the system wouldn't do anything for his grandfather, but he would. He could. He had that in him.



Personal Jesus -- Depeche Mode

Your own personal jesus Someone to hear your prayers Someone who cares Your own personal jesus Someone to hear your prayers Someone who's there

Feeling unknown And you're all alone Flesh and bone By the telephone Lift up the receiver I'll make you a believer

Take second best Put me to the test Things on your chest You need to confess I will deliver You know I'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith Reach out and touch faith

Your own personal jesus...

Feeling unknown And you're all alone Flesh and bone By the telephone Lift up the receiver I'll make you a believer

I will deliver You know I'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith

Your own personal jesus

Reach out and touch faith

Please send feedback to Lisa H.