CLIVE MANTLE

Actor. Author. Voice Over.

About


Clive Mantle is a much-loved British actor, a star of both stage and screen for over 40 years. He is perhaps best known for playing Little John in Robin of Sherwood, Great Jon Umber in Game of Thrones, Simon Horton in The Vicar of Dibley and Mike Barratt in Casualty. His voice is also well known from his work on over 180 audio books, and voicing animated characters, including Gator in Thomas the Tank Engine...

...And, he is now an award winning Author.
'The Treasure at the Top of the World' was released on 24th May 2018.
Please see links below.
His first book won the Peoples Book Prize 2019. This award was voted by the public and was announced on May 8th 2019.
Thank you to all those who have bought, read and voted for 'Treasure'. Your support.
is very much appreciated.
He has just finished an incredibly successful run as Captain Shaw in 'Iolanthe' with the ENO at the London Coliseum, which will return to the ENO schedules in the Autumn of 2020.


Clive has recently been seen as 'Dunk' with Sheridan Smith and Mark Addy, in a new film version of Jo Brand's novel, 'The More You Ignore Me'.

About

Clive Mantle Showreel

About


CLIVE MANTLE CV.

CLIVE SPENT FIVE YEARS WITH THE NATIONAL YOUTH THEATRE [‘74-‘78] BEFORE TRAINING AT RADA [‘78-‘80]
HIS THEATRE WORK INCLUDES, 
MITCH IN TIM ALBERY’S PRODUCTION OF A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE  [CRUCIBLE THEATRE, SHEFFIELD]
STEPHEN DALDRY’S THE RAGGED TROUSERED PHILANTHROPIST [LIVERPOOL PLAYHOUSE & STRATFORD EAST]
LITTLE JOHN IN DAVID TOGURI’S ROBIN HOOD [YOUNG VIC]
JURGEN IN DAVID HAYMAN’S AWARD WINNING  PRODUCTION OF “COMING CLEAN”  [BUSH – LONDON]
DEBORAH WARNER’S WOYCECK  [EDINBURGH FESIVAL]
DAVE IN THE NOTTINGHAM PLAYHOUSE PRODUCTION OF THE POCKET DREAM, WHICH TRANSFERRED  TO THE ALBERY THEATRE.
VICTOR IN JAN SARGENT’S PRODUCTION OF THE PRICE AT BRISTOL OLD VIC.
ACHILLES IN TROILUS & CRESSIDA [HOWARD DAVIES- RSC BARBICAN]  
JOHNNY JOHNSON RSC, DIRECTED BY ALAN RICKMAN AT THE ALMEIDA.
NATIONAL TOURS OF THE IDEAL GNOME EXPEDITION FOR DAVID WOOD’S WHIRLIGIG THEATRE.  
FRANK IN EDUCATING RITA.
AS PERCY IN PATRICK SANDFORD’S PRODUCTION OF RATTLE OF A SIMPLE MAN.  
MOST NOTABLY IN RECENT YEARS AS MAJOR COURTENAY IN THE LADYKILLERS.
AND AS FRANK GALVIN IN THE VERDICT.
WITH HIS WIFE CARLA MENDONCA, CLIVE HAS TOURED EXTENSIVELY WITH ‘JUS’ LIKE THAT!’ A PLAY ABOUT THE LATE GREAT TOMMY COOPER, DIRECTED BY PATRICK RYECART. [TOUR AND EDINBURGH]
HE HAS APPEARED AS THE GUEST STAR AT THE WYNDHAMS THEATRE AND THEATRE ROYAL BATH, IN KENNETH BRANNAGH’S AWARD WINNING PRODUCTION OF THE PLAY WHAT I WROTE.
AS THE  NARRATOR ON TOUR IN THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, AS WELL AS ABANAZAR IN PANTOMIMES IN MALVERN, BATH AND FAREHAM.
IN 2018 HE APPEARED AS CAPTAIN SHAW IN IOLANTHE AT THE COLISEUM WITH THE ENO.
IN 1984 CLIVE WAS NOMINATED FOR AN OLIVIER AWARD, AND WON THE PLAYS AND PLAYERS AWARD FOR BEST NEWCOMER, FOR HIS PERFORMANCE AS LENNIE IN OF MICE AND MEN, WHICH TRANSFERRED FROM THE NUFFIELD THEATRE IN SOUTHAMPTON TO THE MERMAID THEATRE. CLIVE HAS ALSO EXTENSIVELY TOURED THE PLAY, AND TAKEN PART IN A TOTAL OF 6 PRODUCTIONS OF JOHN STEINBECK’S IMMORTAL AMERICAN MASTERPIECE.
ON TELEVISION, CLIVE IS BEST KNOWN AS LITTLE JOHN IN THREE SERIES OF ROBIN OF SHERWOOD,
AS SIMON HORTON IN THE VICAR OF DIBLEY,
AND AS CONSULTANT MIKE BARRATT IN 85 EPISODES OF CASUALTY, AND 32 EPISODES OF HOLBY CITY,
AS WELL AS GREAT JON UMBER IN GAME OF THRONES.
DR FRANKLAND IN SHERLOCK.
TONY IN WHITE VAN MAN.  
TREVOR IN MOUNT PLEASANT,
AND AS INSPECTOR THOMPSON IN INTO THE STORM.
OTHER TV INCLUDES, BLOOMIN MARVELLOUS,  HELLO MUM,  AFTER THOMAS,  THE ROBINSONS,  THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE,  FORTYSOMETHING,  MINDER,  JANE,  DEMPSEY & MAKEPEACE,  THE LENNY HENRY SHOW,  HARD TRAVELLING,  SCOOP,  AIRBASE,  SMITH & JONES,  WYATTS WHATCHDOGS,  CLUB X,  FLIP,  CHELMSFORD 123,  SHELLEY,  ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE,  BOTTOM,  BOON,  DROP THE DEAD DONKEY,  FRAMED,  DOGBOY,  WYSIWYG,  A BIT OF FRY & LAURIE,  JO BRAND THROUGH THE CAKEHOLE,  THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE,  ALISON,  DOCTORS,   HEARTBEAT,  THE JILL DANDO TRIAL, JEKYLL, JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL, STILL OPEN ALL HOURS, DAMNED.
IN 1995 CLIVE WAS THE STUNNED SUBJECT OF THIS IS YOUR LIFE, DURING WHICH HE WAS THRILLED TO MEET HIS HEROES FROM WORCESTERSHIRE COUNTY CRICKET CLUB, AND THE CHELSEA FA CUP WINNERS FROM 1970.
ON RADIO, CLIVE HAS APPEARED IN DOZENS OF PLAYS AND COMEDIES, THE HIGHLIGHT BEING 3 SERIES OF THE SONY AWARD WINNING, LIVE RADIO 4 SAURDAY NIGHT COMEDY, IN ONE EAR.
MANY PEOPLE WILL RECOGNISE CLIVE WITH THEIR EYES SHUT, AS HE DOES COUNTLESS VOICE-OVERS, NARRATES TV DOCUMENTARIES, AND HAS AN EXTENSIVE BACK CATALOGUE IN TALKING BOOKS. HE IS ALSO THE VOICE OF GATOR, A NEW ENGINE IN THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE
CLIVE HAS APPEARED IN THE FILMS: PARTY PARTY,  ALIEN 3,  ORCHARD END MURDER,  FOREIGN BODY,  WITHOUT A CLUE,  MACK THE KNIFE, THE SECRET LIFE OF IAN FLEMMING,  SECOND NATURE,  DARKEST LIGHT, CHURCHILL - INTO THE STORM, MORRIS - A LIFE WITH BELLS ON, THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME, AND IN WHITE HUNTER BLACK HEART WAS THE FIRST MAN IN CINEMA HISTORY TO BEAT UP CLINT EASTWOOD AND LIVE TO THE END OF THE FILM !!!

Latest News


Freddie Malone Has Arrived!

My first novel 'The Treasure At The Top of The World' is the first in a series of adventures about Freddie Malone for readers aged 8+ Released 24th May 2018

May 20, 2018

The Treasure At The Top Of The World on SALE!

Available from Amazon: http://amzn.eu/7WWG4Z8

May 20, 2018

Published By Award Publications

www.awardpublications.co.uk

May 21, 2018

The More You Ignore Me

Clive plays 'Dunk' in the film version of Jo Brand's novel, starring Mark Addy and Sheridan Smith. This is the third time Clive has worked with Jo, following previous TV collaborations on 'Through the Cakehole' and most recently, series 2 of 'Damned'.

Jul 06, 2018

'The Treasure at the Top of the World' is shortlisted for the Peoples Book Prize. Voting closes at the end of March 2019

The first round of voting reveals the final 12 which comprise the 'Short Shortlist' It would be a great achievement to make the final. Thanks for all your support. peoplesbookprize.com

Dec 01, 2018

Audio version of 'The Treasure at the Top of the World' released.

I have recorded my first novel and it is available from oakhillpublishing.com, from April 2019.

Apr 01, 2019

'A Jewel in the Sands of Time' will be published on July 12th 2019. Freddie Malone's second adventure takes him to Ancient Egypt and he rubs shoulders with the Boy King himself, Tutankhamun

Jun 01, 2019

PEOPLES BOOK PRIZE 2019 FINAL

VOTING FOR THE WINNER TAKES PLACE FROM APRIL 1st - 30th. at peoplesbookprize.com ANYONE WITH A VALID EMAIL CAN VOTE. PLEASE SUPPORT 'THE TREASURE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD'

May 08, 2019

Voting in the final of the Peoples Book Prize 2019 begins.

From the 1st to the 30th April 2019 you can vote for Clive to win. Even if you voted in the previous round you can now vote again to help in the final push. Thank you for your support.

Apr 30, 2019

CLIVE WINS PEOPLES BOOK PRIZE 2019

I am thrilled to announce that my first book has been recognised by a peoples vote. Thank you ALL.

May 08, 2019

The Adventures Of Freddie Malone


The Adventures Of Freddie Malone
THE TREASURE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD

In his first award winning adventure, Freddie Malone receives an intriguing and unusual thirteenth birthday present from his Uncle Patrick. The ancient world map goes straight up on his wall, but Freddie fast discovers that the map is much more than just a decorative historic artefact.

With his best friend Connor holding the fort as best he can in the present day, Freddie is plunged into an action packed mountainous adventure, righting the wrongs inflicted on a peaceful Kingdom and it's people, all the while pursued by ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to get what they want. On his journey he rescues the weak and endangered, restores lost artefacts and uncovers clues to a Century old mystery, but will their discovery be enough to provide a much sought after answer to a burning question?
The Treasure at the Top of the World is an Adventure, A Love Story and a Mystery - with Villains, Yaks and Yetis.
Freddie Malone is placed in actual Historic situations and his tale is woven around real people and events.
 
Clive said, "Everest has been my passion since childhood, when my Father enthused me with its many tales. Years later, I realised a lifetime's ambition and set foot on the mountain myself, and the magnificence of the experience is with me every day. I have woven a tale of adventure in the past and present against the wondrous backdrop of Nepal and its people.
 
I am thrilled that the story I wrote for my own son to pass on the flame has now found a wider audience, who will hopefully have their imaginations stimulated as mine was as a young boy."

About


About About About
‘A Jewel in the Sands of Time’. July 2019.

The notorious second novel.
 

I’ve been very lucky and suffered few nerves writing my second book. The pressure was always there, as the reaction to ‘Treasure’ was so positive. I was always gunning for a standard below which I knew I must not drop, but I planned more thoroughly and researched in great depth, and most importantly laid out the chapters and the adventures progression far more professionally than before.
When I occasionally ‘research dumped’ my agent was very clear in her instructions. It’s an adventure set in an amazing historical period, not a 272 page book showing us how much you’ve read about Egypt. Enough said.

Luckily by the time ‘Treasure’ had won the ‘Peoples Book Prize 2019’, ‘Jewel’ had been with my publishers for 4 months, and the final tinkering and proof reading, layouts, trims and polishes were all that remained. So that helped a great deal. I was never sat contemplating a blank page thinking, ‘Oh No! What shall I write? How do I follow that?’
I am very lucky that I really like my characters, including a feisty new addition called Ruby, who is a major force to be reckoned with. The ability to place them anywhere and at anytime in History is a glorious luxury. I’m not confined to the present, although about a quarter of the books are set in the 21stcentury. It is a formula that I’m pleased to continue and a very handy device to compare their present day experience with their existence placed in another ‘Time’, contrasting the pressures of modern day life and all that brings, with life as it was.
In ‘Jewel’ we travel to ancient Egypt in two bursts. Firstly to 1328 BC, midway through the short 10 year reign of King Tutankhamun, and secondly to 1125 BC. Here, Ramesses 1X is pharaoh, and the Egypt Freddie finds 203 years later is very different from before.
Again, Freddie, Connor and now Ruby, are faced with a world of wonder, but also intrigue and danger, as the reason for Freddie’s adventure becomes clear. He is always called to champion someone not best placed to help themselves, and through his actions he becomes an integral and loyal friend to the young pharaoh and his wife Ankhasenamun.

Pyramids, temples, tombs, power struggles, goodies, baddies, golden chariots, crocodiles, plots uncovered, rescues, riots survived, and fiercely forged loyal friendships are the backdrop to maybe the first Nile tourist cruise ever! Hopefully I’ve placed the reader deep in amongst Egyptian society and they will emerge with a strong sense of life as it felt, tasted and smelt.
We travel through the Egyptian seasons as well as the centuries, as ‘Ahket’, the ‘Inundation’, raises the water level of the Nile 35 feet at Waset [modern day Thebes] then the most populous and powerful city in the world. Karnak is close by, still to this day the largest religious structure ever built.
‘Jewel’ is set in two main Egyptian locations. In and around the Valley of the Kings, and then some 400 kilometres north up the River Nile to the Great Pyramid and Sphinx complex at Giza.

Immersing myself in all things ancient Egyptian was a real pleasure. It is such a vast and glorious period, spanning three and a half thousand years. It is a complicated process picking a spot to land on with a story.
But the one person that young and old want to know about, is Tutankhamun. 

I read two complete histories of all the dynasties to make sure I wasn’t missing someone or something more interesting, and as amazing as the whole period is, I was inevitably drawn back to the golden Boy King.
His Tomb plays a large part in the book and I feel like I know where each of the 5000 relics and precious possessions were laid to rest with the king. But it’s the simple things almost that touch me most. The positioning of the statue of Anubis – in the form of a reclining hound, as near to the foot of the sarcophagus as possible, maybe echoing the loyalty shown to Tutankhamun by his own Tesum hunting dog called Dedu. Did Ankhasenamun command it to be placed there as close to it’s royal master as possible?
On the West wall of the Burial chamber, the wonderful depiction of the Solar barque on it’s journey towards Osiris, and underneath the 12 baboons each marking an hour of the night through which the world travelled until the rebirth of the God Amun as the sun rose again.

The position of the Scarab in Egyptian society was highly respected. The example of the dung beetle pushing its burden ever onward, was seen as displaying the great qualities of diligence and perseverance. The tiny insect was often celebrated in the form of jewelry and paintings, and I have placed one at the heart of my book.


The latest research on Tutankhamun’s physical limitations and illnesses and the DNA clues as to his age and the likely ways that his untimely death occurred, helped me to piece together the image of a boy. Or rather, the image of a boy he
might easily have been. And ultimately the boy I could imagine he was.
It is now thought that he suffered from Temporal lobe Epilepsy. He certainly had a club foot and cleft palate from birth, but the previously held theory that a mark on a neck vertebrae thought to suggest foulplay, has now been marginalized as his possible cause of death. More likely is the far more mundane – Septicaemia – resulting from a badly broken leg, which ended his 10 year reign at the tender age of 19.
He had fathered two children by then, but neither had survived beyond birth. Ankhasenamun was more than likely his half sister, and so the disastrous policy of the royal family inter marrying continued. Little did they realize that the process severely weakened any offspring. The short reigns of most pharaohs would have been dramatically extended had they married into outside families and different blood lines, rejuvenating the health and longevity of the royal line.
Ankhasenamun was six years older than Tutankhamun, and after his death and against her will, she was forced to marry Ay - who succeeded the Boy King. Ay had been one of his joint Viziers, like prime ministers, along with Horemheb who controlled the Army.
On Tutankhamun’s death, Ankhasenamun pleaded by letter to the Hittite King to send one of his sons for her to marry, which he did. But Prince Zannanza was murdered on his way to Egypt. With facts like these to provide a secure backbone, it is exciting to then imagine the intrigue and plots, the loyalties and double dealings, and whilst never altering History in any way, provide a realistic glimpse of what the state of play was.
To me, Kha and Ankha [as I call them] were like ornate trapped birds in a golden cage. Gilded and bejewelled, but powerless, friendless and vulnerable…
Until… Freddie Malone arrives.

So that’s how I’ve spent the majority of the last year, and now my attention turns to all things London and 1665 and 1666. More of that another time. Safe to say it’s just as fascinating to research, and just as much fun to write.
I will be recording the Audiobook of ‘Jewel’ soon, to accompany ‘Treasure’ which is already available either through Amazon or from ‘Oakhill’ directly.

Thankyou to all those who have bought the books so far, and those who voted in the Peoples Book Prize 2019. Your support is very much appreciated. Xc.

Extracts from ‘A Jewel in the Sands of Time’. Published by Award. July 2019.

Prologue
 

In a cold, dark basement, a long way from where you are reading these words, the Collector sat at his writing table inspecting a huge yellow gemstone under a solitary light. The elderly man scrawled on a piece of folded white card, using a quill dipped in a vivid turquoise ink.
And many years ago, in a silent and ancient tomb, also a long way from where you are reading these words, there lay a King in his dark resting place. Along dead Boy King who was always at the mercy of those who would seek to possess his impossible wealth.
Close by the King, a precious jeweled trinket guarded the Pharaoh through the twelve stages of night on his journey to the next life.
The Collector wanted to turn back time and steal the priceless artifact for himself and deny the joy of its discovery to the rest of the world. He also craved a precious liquid, a legendary medicine, which if taken would prolong his life - the seconds, minutes and hours of which were trickling through his twisted fingers like fine desert sand as he neared his worldly end. He calculated that the two treasures could easily be collected together, or so he hoped.
Around him in the large basement were dozens of illuminated cabinets containing many of the world’s missing wonders, which he had acquired by one foul means or another. He moved towards the furthest display, stroking the glass of several others as he passed.
Even now, after all these years, there was still room for a treasure yet to be stolen. He unlocked the door of the last cabinet and with a shaky hand smoothed the velvet interior.
On it he placed the huge yellow ‘Florentine Diamond’, tinkering with its position until he was satisfied that it caught the available light. Almost immediately his eyes moved from the priceless gemstone to the empty expanse to its right. He lovingly stroked the velvet cloth and whispered,
“Of course, be patient. Not long now. You will soon have
a treasure.”

clivemantle.com 
freddiemalone.com
@MantleClive 

clive.mantle752

About


About About About
Clive Mantle. ‘The Treasure at the Top of the World’


I have long held the dream of writing to inspire the young in the way I was bewitched as a young boy by one of my Literary heroes, Oliver Postgate.
‘The Treasure at the Top of the World’ is the first in a series of commissioned adventures for my leading character Freddie Malone. It was published in June 2018 and won the prestigious Peoples Book Prize 2019. [peoplesbookprize.com]

“The idea is everything”– is a phrase I am well used to hearing in the film and TV business. It’s a general truism that camouflages a mountain of hard work. But it doesn’t matter how well you write, if the idea isn’t good, people won’t read it.
My idea took many years to filter through and it came to me as I walked away from Mount Everest.
Having completed the gruelling but wonderful trek to Everest Base Camp and beyond, my thoughts turned to ‘What’s next?’
The idea came in a flash. Boy receives World Map for his birthday, hangs it on his wall and disappears through it to any destination on earth, at any period in History.
Freddie can go anywhere, at any time. He can observe History happening and bring it to life for a modern audience. Living history.
‘The Treasure at the Top of the World’ takes place in 21st Century England and 20th Century Nepal.
Mallory, Irvine, Yaks and Yetis, First love, Treasure, Disasters and Adventure. The mountain kingdom hosts the quest to return stolen relics from a ruthless adversary and is counterpointed with Freddie’s best friend Connor stranded at home in the present day. He has to deal with his own problems in the shape of persistent bullies, as his weight makes him an easy and soft target. Both boys have many great lessons to learn and adventures to experience. The strong female role model in the story is Mindhu, a funny, strong and captivating Sherpana who steals Freddie’s heart.
The challenges for me were mainly those of paring down my original completed first draught, which weighed in at a hefty 125,000 words! Too long, as even I knew. My fantastic agent and guide in the process Penny Luithlen, set me incredibly helpful targets. A paragraph was about 8 sentences on average and she asked me to turn those 8 into 5 without losing the essence. I went away and dutifully did that and in the process fell in love with editing.
Then Penny encouraged me to turn those revised 5 sentences into 3. It can be done. It was published at 52,000 words. Less is more.
All those precious adjectives and wordy cul-de-sacs we think are vital can be [radically] pruned. I found it liberating. Suddenly the story and characters were allowed to leap off the page. As a consequence, my second book was 60,000 when I finished the first draught and will be 52,000 when it emerges in June 2019. I had saved myself a lot of work being economical.
I have read countless testimonies from the great mountaineers safely returned from tackling Everest, but was not aware of a book like mine introducing the younger reader to the majesty and miracle that is Nepal. Not only the visual splendours, but the magnificence and generosity of its people.

I want my books to plant the seed of travel and adventure in young minds. Freddie is placed in Nepal during a real historic event and can communicate what that feels like as he relates his tales to Connor on return. My aim is always to inspire and encourage, both to read and to explore. We must enthuse the young mind with reading before the ‘You Tube’ generation lose the ability to pick up and enjoy books.
Freddie Malone’s second adventure is published in June 2019. ‘A Jewel in the Sands of Time’ is set in two periods in Ancient Egypt and the present day. Pharaohs, Intrigue, Tombs, Chariots, Pyramids, Slavery and of course the story of a long dead Boy King whose name resonates louder today than ever. Tutankhamun.
Book three, due for release in June 2021, is set in London, with the backdrop of The Great Plague of 1665 and the Great Fire of 1666. Freddie will be a witness to these huge events.
Freddie can’t change History in the grand scale of things, but he can operate on a human level to make an important difference in the thick of the action.
It is a joy for me to enter Freddie’s universe and retreat for hours at a time from a modern world that often baffles and confuses me. Emerging blinking into the harsh realities of our complex society often comes as a shock.

I hope you enjoy the series as it unravels. Your comments and feedback would be very much appreciated.
It is published by Award [awardpublications.co.uk] and available via the usual online outlets. On Amazon it has the very handy ‘Look inside’ feature which means you can browse before you buy. Try it, it’s very helpful.
It can of course be ordered via local bookshops if they haven’t got it in stock. There’s nothing like holding the book before you buy it in my opinion.
There is a Kindle version and I have recorded the Audiobook version, which will be available from 1st April 2019. [oakhillpublishing.com]

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

clivemantle.com 
freddiemalone.com
@MantleClive 

clive.mantle752

An extract from ‘The Treasure at the Top of the World’

12:01 a.m. Was he still dreaming?
Freddie sat up. He felt a tremor of anticipation and then a crackle and surge of energy in his bedroom that made his eyes grow wide in alarm. From the silence of the rest of the house he started to hear something; music and voices swelling with increasing urgency, as they began swirling invisibly around him. Dozens of different people seemed to be talking in snippets of strange languages, like frenzied ghosts trying to impart crucial messages. Snatches of orchestras, rock bands, opera and bagpipes came and went, mixed chaotically with television and radio excerpts, as if someone was spinning a gigantic tuning dial. It was utterly bewildering. Freddie sat, open mouthed, trying to work out who was playing this trick on him. It wasn’t some sort of birthday surprise, was it? If so, it was backfiring badly. He was scared stiff.
Light cut into the bedroom around the heavy curtains from the full moon outside, illuminating the wall opposite and the vivid colours of his majestic World Map. Freddie’s gaze was drawn to India. He tried to look away, but it felt like his eyeballs were being dragged by magnets back towards the map. All about him the tumult increased. The sounds were searing his eardrums and now there seemed to be a growing wind coursing around the room as well.
As Freddie continued to stare at the map, it suddenly started to pucker, showing the relief of cities, mountains and rivers. Freddie could not believe his eyes. His gaze was drawn upwards over the northern border India shared with Nepal. Completely against his will and with no control, his focus shot towards the capital, Kathmandu. Freddie blinked, trying to clear his head. He had to be seeing things, surely. The map appeared to be completely alive. Elephants and buses, people, planes, boats and trains sprang to life and began streaming across it, like ants in a forest. It was like his whole bedroom wall had become a vivid projection of the earth from the sky. It was alive. Freddie began backing away towards his pillows and clutched at the mattress.
Then, with a sudden and irresistible wrench, an unseen force ripped him away from his bed. He tried to hang on by clawing at the wooden headboard behind his pillow, but his body was stretched horizontally a foot above his duvet, which suddenly shot out from underneath him and joined the tornado of socks, pants and dirty washing dancing frantically around his room. Try as he might, he could not shift his gaze from Uncle Patrick’s map. It appeared to have an absolute and unbreakable hold over him.
“Help! Stop it now! I’ve had enough. It’s not funny any more. Dad! Mum! Stop it. Please!”
Now the map seemed to grow until it filled his entire field of vision. His eyes were drawn roughly eastwards, from Kathmandu to a place called Namche Bazaar, the letters of which dissolved, as tiny mountain tops thrust through the parchment in their place. Freddie’s desperate last grip on the pine frame was broken and he hurtled towards the wall.
“No! Please ... No! Help!”
There was a thundering crack, like ice splitting on a frozen lake, as a huge tear appeared in the map. Beyond it, Freddie could see a tunnel; an endless vortex of swirling bright lights. The wall of his bedroom was melting and splitting, creating a gaping hole. The plaster and brickwork had become fluid.
“Help!” he tried to scream, but the sound was lost among a thousand other shouts. “Help me!” he cried again, but all the voices seemed to echo and mock him simultaneously. Freddie was speeding feet first towards the widening gap and it parted just enough to allow him through, accompanied by a truly deafening sound, as if a thousand sheets of paper were all torn at once.
He desperately tried to hang on to the jagged edge of the hole in his bedroom wall, but the bricks dissolved in his grasp……..

Bryn Newton - Saraband


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Sue Terry Voices


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  • 4th Floor 35 Great Marlborough Street London W1F 7JF

Penny Luithlen


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