Rasp Thorne


Originally hailing from Bozeman, Montana, with extended residencies in New York and New Orleans, Rasp Thorne is now an ex-pat living in London.

Along with writing novels, he is also a performer and musician who has toured internationally and can be seen around London proselytizing at theatres and spoken word events or playing out with his band of ruffians ‘Rasp Thorne & the Briars’. 

Email: rasp_thorne@yahoo.com


View as PDF: Rasp Thorne - Ophelia's Fix

Ophelia’s Fix 

They won’t stop shrieking even after the management turns the house lights on.

They’ll continue long after deserting the decimated hall.

Why would they?

How could they dare?

Unacceptable to a minor disciples creed, for hardcore acolytes - utter blasphemy. As long as there’s fumes left in the arena and elasticity trebling in vocal chords they shall continue to pray via screaming, to claw their soaked forms closer together, towards the stage, until He deems it time to take it again.

They scream for Ophelia.

Not until they’re sure it’s razed overdone and left to cool on a spike, that the Fix has fled the building, will they surrender their battle wrought positions and exit the theatre to trawl the hotel lounges and titty-bars of the city, the dives and old haunts where He might shake his legendary locks unexpectedly as he’s known to do.

They’re on a mission, a carnivorous, carnal crusade.

-A pilgrimage this side of Mecca.

They’re all seeking V.

Crisscrossing tracts of traffic jammed boulevards and alleyways of ill expansion on bikes and skateboards and spring-sagged cars and vans and gypsy-cabs they can’t afford they will sniff until their leads snap. Not until the final obscure rumor of the after-party debacle is forsaken will they abandon the quest to see Him again in living flesh, divorced from glares of MTV or the saccharine snarl of glossy magazines. To meet again, to touch or suck or catch a waft of the God who left a calf not even three years ago. In the days before ‘Reverse Vertigo’ topped the charts and He was catapulted like a hot comet of jism across the stratosphere of the Americas, the vast Seas, the Continents that cruelly separate Him from them. Them from Him.


They will not give up the hunt.

But it’s not hunting time yet.

The footstomps in the balcony are foreboding. Unbeknownst to the throng directly beneath they have begun to collect ceiling dust in their motley hair. It falls all around them like glitter halos before settling into paste as it merges with sweat. It’s hot in here after all. Steamy. This the final night of the sold out four day stint at ‘The Fortuna’, final date of the American tour before jetting back to Europe or Brazil or wherever it is He and the Fix inhabit these days. Wherever. Somewhere else. Somewhere more or less vapid. Somewhere far away from them.


Sell out?

Just another Judas with lipstick on?

Hands down: Traitor extraordinaire. Yet there’s forgiveness here. In spades. Salvation knocks up against the flotsam and jetsam. It would pour forth freely, resurrect the wreck by sheer buoyancy if He’d only return to clutch the mic-stand, but where?


Where the fuck is He?

He belongs to them after all. Loves them. Needs them. If he didn’t he wouldn’t have said so at the end of the third encore right after they ripped through ‘Serenity Haze’ for the second time. He needs, desires, craves his tribe and he’d be nothing without them and he knows it and they hate him and they love him for it as one hates and loves a first love but they know, between the thuds in their cheap speed hearts that if the shit were to really hit the fan and there arose a choice between Him or them to be tied to the tracks they would, every last runty, glitter drenched one of them, proudly lie themselves down for the train blast approaching.

There is no worship without sacrifice.

Nor does sacrifice suffice.

Yet hope prevails.

Though the stage strobes lie dormant hope will penetrate through the poppers and booze sweat; yes, hope will absolve the vapors. There is still that. At least. Faith being the first requirement of any decent God. Though it’s been at least ten minutes since their fifth encore the house lights are still dimmed and the management hasn’t begun to blast the mediocre music from the opening band through the PA and though He’s nowhere to be seen that is definitely Spider Keat’s bass thudding out the doomladen riff to ‘Skull Down’ and yes, there’s Feral wiping his drenched face temporarily dry with a pair of pink glittered panties that somehow managed to bullseye the spike of a cymbal stand and that all the way to the back of the stage. He’s shotgunning a fifth of white while scuttling back up onto his platform. He swallows and spits big and zings the bottle at an unaware security guard and languidly pumpthrobs the bass drum without sitting down. The panties dangle from his gritting maw like a ragged chew toy. Grating the glitter into sifted fool’s gold, masticating the pink to purple.

O Feral.

The congregation aren’t clapping their hands so much as smashing them together as if trying to rid their arms of tension or a plague. The resulting sound is not a cacophony of adulation but that of fleshy wet slaps, pulverized collisions. Factions attempt to shout out the first verse even though Hazel is nowhere to be seen. The overemulated and recently much satirized riff on his Telecaster lies vacant, creating a blackhole in the sonic cauldron stirred by fuzzed bass and kickdrum stomps. The tension’s too much. This is taking too long. It is. Someone’s going to explode, implode, disappear into that void and be seen no more.

But what is that?


Sounds like an electric chair.

Is it?



Yes, I believe it is.





and the plague it cometh forth.

The rolling boil boils over and geysers whistle out of kettle-like throats.

They’re trampling and soggy, loin clenching, twitching, testing the tendons of voice. Those attempting the opening verse have been drowned out and instantly absorbed into a collective chant of:


A gaunt limbed girl no older than 15 (fifteen) with the plumage of a black spotted pink mohawk is pinned against the front barrier and passes right out - skeletal arms and torso folded over the steel rail like a ragdoll depleted of stuffing. The security guards squint cowdumb eyes. They’re done. Spent. Scratched and bruised for six bucks an hour. Standing there beneath the foot and wings of the stage, arms flexed and folded in stupid logoed muscle-shirts already two hours too long trying to ignore the abuse that the fans and band shower upon them from every angle. Deflecting flames from the overstoked furnace. Yet they know in their marrow it’s their duty to close the door of the forge, the guardians to separate them from them. It’s a necessary rivalry. Hated for being exactly what they are supposed to be - the buffer zone- the concrete median, the stodgy reality that tends the illusions dream. They, the guardians, refer to Vince as ‘The Main Fag’ despite the legendary amount of pussy he pulls. He of snake scaled pants and demon boots, of glitter boa and voodoo beads, mystical painted eyes and razorblade cheeks.

Indeed, they hate and love him too.

The limbs surge forward farther like a wave break curling over itself. The collective chant degrading into squawks of pandemonium morphing into a new pleading random litany of:


Hazel lopes on from the wings carving spur ruts into the sticky stage the smoke from his cigaretted lip eddying through raven nested hair. His guitar strapped backwards over his slippery torso chiseled from fucking; he tromps to the front edge of the stage and peers out menacingly as if gazing into all of their eyes at once and they know whatever he just took backstage is way better than what they’ve got surging through their veins. But though Hazel’s bad ass and V’s right hand man he’s still not the Man himself and where, where, where, where the fuck is he?

Where is V?

Something bad just happened in the midsection on the left and a pocket of bodies abandon the chant in frenetic shrieks of panic and pain. Still a pleading rises, a different sort of prayer, but for what? Hazel sneers and spits out the cigarette and with one flapping motion swoops his guitar over his shoulder and clutches the neck as if strangling a filthy fucking swan and with a flash of his chipped black talons slices into the intro riff more distorted and nasty and louder than it’s ever been on any recording to date and the crowd barometer is boiling to burst and there’s Spider buck naked save for a ravaged black tutu stomping on the top of his stack of bass amps but goddamn it goddamn it goddamn it all-- where is the Man?

Where is He?

Fix my Ophelia..

They scream: ‘V! V! V! V! V!’

‘V...V... V... V! Vince! Wake up! Yer fu.. Yer... Steve! Your bloody fucken phone it’s right th- your pho-one!...Hello? Yes...Yes. O yes hello...good morning...yes...correct this is his number...no, it’s fine...it’s OK...no....no...I’ve been up for hours...yes he’s available today...one moment...he’s in the garden right now...he’s feeding the cat...yes...yes...let me...one second...yes of course...’

Fumbles in the dark, overturns a pint glass of water on the nightstand which rolls and crashes to the floor but doesn’t break.

She hisses ‘Fuck’ and winces, hoping her finger was over the receiver. A lamp is turned on. It’s bright. She squints down at the stubble faced man lying on his back breathing deep and slow beneath her. She smells whiskey and swears to God she’s going to slap him but restrains herself and clutches his shoulder with witchy nails and shakes shakes shakes.

‘V wake up!’


‘Vince - phone - work.’ She slaps him.

‘Wha? Huh. Jesus.’

She grabs his head and pulls it up onto her thigh. His eyes squint and dip and roll shut again. He coughs whiskey breath. She grabs him by his hair, wrests his head up, shoves the mobile phone into his ear and whispers ‘Work.’

He musters hardly: ‘He-hello? Uh...yep...yes hello mam..yep... that’s right. I’m a...’ he clears his throat, ‘I’m a man with a van.’


Isis arises from the bed and shirks herself into a ratty silken nightgown, cream colored. She walks around the bed, his side being closest to the door, which she opens and storms down the hallway to the bathroom. Her stomps punctuate Vince’s mangled speech.

‘Yas mm, I’m mmm. Jus’ mm gi me mne sec an’ an’ I’ll grab ma a pen...’ He covers the receiver and shouts: ‘Isis!’ There is no reply, he hears a flush. ‘OK mam, almost there...Yes...Yep, yep issa good cat...black...OK. One sec there. Here we go. Good day to you too. Well uh, first off... jus’ a, uh, OK, what’s yer postcode and what’s the one of where yer going too?’

Slouched at a small table in the kitchen the computer light does his jowls no favors. He cursors down with one hand while scribbling on the nearest scrap of paper with the other:

E1W 3ST Wappin

Lea Br

Whipps X

A12 Wesst/C. Lon -- 5 mil


A13 Dockland

RT E India


O - 4the Exit - ASSPEN WAY

A13/Can Wharf/Wapp

merge A1261-

SLT RT Limehouse Link/A1203 ----- 2 mil




He does well enough driving down the A12 but takes the wrong exit onto the A11 and finds himself circling the Bow roundabout trying to figure out how to get onto the A13. On his fifth go around he gives up and pulls off on a slip road leading towards Mile End. Irate and shaking he turns into the first safe haven that he can which is a McDonald’s to vomit and grab a Coke to get himself reoriented. This happens a lot. Missing turns. When it does it angers him in such an immediate and uncharacteristic way that it makes him worry about himself. He flies into obscenity ridden tirades that make no sense and pounds the steering wheel and dashboard with his fists. He slaps his face and punches the window, sometimes drawing blood. People who’ve employed him often ask why he doesn’t have a SAT NAV or a smartphone and he still has no answer prepared. Usually he just waves it off and says that he figures that people have been driving around fine for a hundred years without them and that there’s nothing wrong with a trusty A to Z. He tells himself it keeps him sharp and that he doesn’t like the implications of being tracked by satellites, fancying himself as some sort of diesel-fueled cowboy negotiating the concrete foreign labyrinth of London. Truth is he had one once, a nice one with a touch screen that made his life infinitely less stressful. Isis bought it for him for his birthday, cost 100 quid, but it got stolen along with a socket set and his second favorite acoustic guitar when he forgot to lock the van one night when he was stoned and drunk coming home from Keith’s storage space where they practice.

As he walks back to the van with the cardboard cup clutched in his hand he looks up through the patchy drizzle at a tower block and sees a hazy figure at a window peering down at him with what must be binoculars. Either binoculars or really big black sunglasses. Vince half-heartedly flashes a peace sign with his free hand, ducks into the van and jerkily reverses before remembering to pull the parking brake down. Glancing back up to the window he sees nothing and, hesitatingly, enters back into the traffic to face the roundabout again.

By the time he reaches the gallery in Wapping he’s over an hour late and has had to pull off to the side of the road twice to vomit. He pops two pieces of extra-strong spearmint gum into his mouth and bats his powdery knee a few times before he opens his door and staggers as nonchalantly as he can to the entrance. Upon conquering a few concrete stairs and stepping through the sliding glass doors he’s met by a twig of a woman with a headset strapped over an asymmetrical bobbed haircut who looks him up and down before addressing him in a clipped Polish accent.

‘You are driver, yes?’

‘Yep. Hiya. I’m Steve. Hi. How’s it goin?’ He offers his hand for her to shake. She doesn’t look down.

‘You are late.’ She pivots and presses a button on her mobile phone which is plugged into the headset.

‘Agata for Daniel...Agata for Daniel...Yes, ze driver is here...I don’t know why...I ask- Why were you late? Hello, driver? Why were you-’

‘O, am I? Well, you know where the A12 turns into the 13 before the roundabout by the McDonald’s at Bow? Well this guy, well, a woman actually, doesn’t matter though, was in the wrong lane and totally cut me off an-’

‘He got lost...One moment- Don’t you have SAT NAV?’

He shakes his head. ‘Nope.’

‘No he does not have SAT...on a website...yes he was rated four of stars and I have used it before on a multiple of times and it was always highly efficient...Yes...OK...all of them yes? OK....No...Yes of course.’ She pokes the mobile again.

‘Come with.’ she says and marches down a bright white hallway with packing boxes and crates of all sizes and shapes stacked on top of and beside each other. She leads him back outside then up three long flights of steel stairs to an office that looks out over the parking lot. The drizzle has turned to rain. The office is large, high ceilinged, and there are shelves lining the walls all the way up to the top, each one of them crammed full with filing boxes.

‘All of these. All. All ze ones which are labelled, on zis, th-is wall here, need to go. Today. Don’t touch anything on that side. That is tomorrow. What?’

‘I, uh, I didn’t, uh, say any-’ She cuts him off with a karate chop and walks away a few steps mashing the headset deeper into her ear. He surveys the wall of boxes, quickly counting a row and multiplying it by 7. It comes out to 224 or thereabouts. He prays for an elevator, a freight at that, futilely.

‘Where have you parked ze van?’ she blurts suddenly at his side snapping him out of his calculations and making him jump back.

‘Just over there.’ he replies, pointing vaguely out the door.

‘Over where exactly?’

‘Just over there, by the entrance ya know. Zee en-trance.’

‘OK firstly, you cannot park there. There is sign. You see it? No. OK, you need to park over here by ze feet of stairs. OK? You cannot park right next to them for that would be fire hazard but get close as possible. I will meet you back up here in 5 minutes approximately.’ she says, sitting down at an immaculately ordered desk and flipping open a laptop, grimacing for an instant before plugging it into a power outlet.

He looks at her. She must be in her early to mid-twenties, cute in a mousey way but exuding not a whiff of femininity. She has that twitching, unsettled thing he’s noticed more and more in the young these days. A robotic anxiety this generation seems to have, a sexless, futuristic strain, frenetic and officious and frigid. Constantly plugged into their phones and computers and various blinking devices they seem so overloaded by stimulation that they can’t enjoy any of it and have ceased being capable of the simplest functions of humanity. Of common courtesy. But then maybe it isn’t that, he thinks, feeling old, maybe it’s more that they all seem so...apathetic. Yes, that’s it. It’s the apathy which he can’t stand. His generation may not have been courteous or polite either but no one could accuse them of being apathetic. God no. And, they fucked a lot, too. And did a lot of drugs. Then fucked some more. It was fun. Engaged bodily fun.

‘Is there a problem?’ she inquires in a bored declaration while texting on her cellphone waiting for the screen to turn on. When it does her cheekbones become illuminated by the florescence and suddenly the boxes don’t seem so multitudinous.

‘What’s yer name?’ he asks.

This makes her pause. She doesn’t look up but her texting has stopped.

‘Why do you want to know my name?’

‘Well, ya know, if we’re going to be working together for the next week it’d be good to know what to call you. Ya know, in case I fall down the stairs and smash an eyelash or get lost ‘long the way to the bathroom...’ he winks and flashes his once lady-killing smile.

Without lifting her eyes she calmly but firmly places the phone down next to the computer and starts stabbing the keyboard with arched fingers.

He stands there. Hovering. Full knowing her name but not prepared to move an inch until she says it.

‘Your name is...fill in the blank... Here we go again. OK. Ya ready? You name is..... Me... Ner-o... you.... O c’mon darlin don’t leave me hangin.’

‘Agata.’ she coughs, eyes glaring into the screen.

‘Agata. Uh-gah-tuh. I gotta. Wow. What a beautiful name.’ Vince says, doing a shaky pirouette on his heels, his face turning redder than it already is from the booze. He exits the office and tromps down the stairs, counting each one, stomp for stomp. There’s 112 exactly, 3 landings plus the step down and up into the van. Wet stairs. Rusty but not enough for extra traction. A knee scraping scenario at the very least. The very worst he doesn’t think about but welcomes.

Trudging to the van he does more math. He figures, in total, it’s over 18,000 stairs involved altogether and that’s before unloading into the storage space. The drizzle of five minutes ago has turned to a slanting cold rain and when he opens the door and plops in he sees that the window was left half open and the seat is already wet. He fishes around in his bag for his tobacco pouch and when he opens it is dejected to see that it’s down to the dregs. Tapping the remaining crumbs into a corner he quickly turns the pouch upside down onto the envelope with the directions on it, creases it, and shakes the dust into a rolling paper. He rolls it up tight as he can and carefully sticks it in between his lips but as he reaches down for his Zippo the cigarette tilts and the powdery tobacco falls into his lap.

‘Ahhh...Fuck it.’ he says, slamming his boot on the clutch and mangling the key in the ignition. He reverses straight out of the arty rusted entrance gates causing an approaching lorry to slam on its brakes and the driver to honk his horn erratically. He imagines curses and raises his eyebrows.

‘And fuuuuck yoooou toooooo!’ he howls out the half-open window, letting the van sit there idling in the middle of the street as he tunes the radio to a classical station. Twisting on the windshield wipers he leisurely slots the stick into first gear and with a backfire of exhaust steers the van back the way he came, suddenly elated, working out the best route to get to Seven Sisters.