Author Archives: Raquel Fernandes

First Story’s Friday Story

First Story’s Friday Story

This year’s First Story programme is drawing to a close and we would like to congratulate the 400 newly-published young authors from schools across London,Oxford and the East Midlands.

This week First Story is featuring a piece by Ellie MacCarthy from Holland Park School. Ellie was part of a group with First Story writer-in-residence and co-founder William Fiennes.

The Key
By Ellie MacCarthy

I sit alone on the grainy surface of a cold wooden work desk. I glance around me, overseen by a pair of giant hawk-like eyes. Glaring. A warm finger prods me, turns me over, twists me around its palm. I think back to my days of beauty, to my days of wearing a chivalrous suit of silver armour. Now I lie in shame. Broken. Battered. Bruised. Smothered in a thick layer of fiery rust. No longer am I used for providing joy, or opening white-washed mansions with their towering oak doors. No longer can I feel the sensation, the slight tingle of the twist inside a lock. Fitting perfectly, like a long lost puzzle piece. Belonging.

My intricate design that once showcased my beauty and elegance remains engraved, yet bears scars, speckles of decaying greys and musty greens. I long to be used once again, to be handled, reunited with my lifelong sweetheart, my perfect match. Dust and ancient spider webs cover my gaping symmetrical crevices, slowly intoxicating my slender body.

My ageing spine shows signs of my weakness. Dreams of returning to my former glory have long deteriorated. Any glimmer of hope has disappeared in the glimpse of a moment. Smothered. Shoved into a deep dark velvet bag. A violent clang and clash of noises, haunting my ever-returning nightmares. Taunting me. Invading my mind, like an army of toy soldiers. Destroying my heart, piece by piece.

First Story supports and inspires creativity, literacy and talent in challenging UK secondary schools and their communities. It arranges and pays for acclaimed authors to run after-school creative writing workshops, and then publishes the stories and encourages students to read them aloud at events to family, friends and teachers. Find out more about their great work at