‘Late’ by Aoife Cahill, age 14

There are two walls that face each other down an alleyway in the city centre that live to be the designated graffiti spot of the whole town. It’s a narrow alley, only wide enough for about three people to walk down, shoulder to shoulder. If you want to fully admire the art on either wall, you’d need to press your back agaisnt the other to get a good look at it.

Which brings me to what I’m currently doing, leaning against one wall to take in the newest contribution to the other, already so full of colour.

It’s not a large piece, sort of squished into a space between random tags and a few inspirational quotes, but it caught my eye immediately as I was passing the alley on my way to school. I’ve been looking at it for a solid 15 minutes now, and I’m on track to get a late detention from my form tutor, Mr Greenview, if I carry on for much longer.

I don’t care. I just keep reading and rereading the quote pasted over the beautiful picture, admiring the highlights, the shade, the sheer detail of the work.

Suddenly I am struck with a certain curiosity for the piece. Who made it? Why? How did they do it? I wonder if I possibly know the secret artist, it wouldn’t be hard in a small town like this. I guess that’s the wonder of street art like this then, it’s a complete and utter mystery, anonymously signed by the curve of a letter, the freckle on someone’s face.

No one knows why the art is there, not the public as the viewer, nor the artist themseves as the creator of this beautiful thing.

Does it give a message? A warning? Is its purpose simply for the enjoyment of the general public? Is it to make children distracted on their way to school and end up missing the entirety of form? (My current, um, unfortunate predicament)

I check the time on my phone, letting out a silent curse as I grab my schoolbag from the floor. I quickly snap a photo of the art, making a silent note to myself to print it out when I get back home, and run out of the alley towards school, leaving the little spaceman floating round in his own bubble of pink, purple and blue, with the lyric above him, made out of shining white stars:

“There’s a


                                                                                    waiting in the sky”