"The chalk! The chalk! Look at the chalk! It's
moving all on its own!"
hysterical and shrill was Nigel's scream that everyone
in the place, including the Trunchbull, looked up at the
blackboard. And there, sure enough, a brand-new piece of chalk was
hovering near the grey-black writing surface of the
"It's writing something!" screamed Nigel. "The
chalk is writing something!"
And indeed it was.
"What the blazes is this?" yelled the
Trunchbull. It had shaken her to see her own first name being
written like that by an invisible hand. She dropped Wilfred on the
floor. Then she yelled at nobody in particular, "Who's doing this?
Who's writing it?"
The chalk continued to write.
Everyone in the place heard the gasp that came
from the Trunchbull's throat. "No!" she cried, "It can't be! It
can't be Magnus!"
Miss Honey, at the side of the room glanced
swiftly at Matilda. The child was sitting very straight at her
desk, the head held high, the mouth compressed, the eyes glittering
like two stars.
For some reason everyone now looked at the
Trunchbull. The woman's face had turned white as snow and her mouth was opening and shutting like a
halibut out of water and giving out a series of
The chalk stopped writing. It hovered for a few
moments, then suddenly it dropped to the floor with a tinkle and
broke in two.
Wilfred, who had managed to resume his seat in
the front row, screamed, "Miss Trunchbull has fallen down! Miss
Trunchbull is on the floor!"
This was the most sensational bit of news of all
and the entire class jumped up out of their seats to have a really
good look. And there she was, the huge figure of the Headmistress,
stretched full-length on her back across the floor, out for the
Miss Honey ran forward and knelt beside the
prostrate giant. "She fainted!"
she cried. "She's out cold! Someone go and fetch the matron at
once." Three children ran out of the room.
Nigel, always ready for action, leapt up and
seized the big jug of water. "My father says cold water is the
best way to wake up someone who's fainted," he said, and with that
he tipped the entire contents of the jug over Trunchbull's head. No
one, not even Miss Honey, protested.
As for Matilda, she continued to sit motionless
at her desk. She was feeling curiously elated. She felt as though
she had touched something that was not quite of this world, the
highest point of the heavens, the farthest star. She had felt most
wonderfully the power surging up behind her eyes, gushing like a
warm fluid inside her skull, and her eyes had became scorching
hot, hotter than ever before, and things had come bursting out of
her eye-sockets and then the piece of chalk had lifted itself up
and had begun to write. It seemed as though she had hardly done
anything, it had been so simple.