We were traversing the City of David to reach the forest when a gust of chilling wind laced with ice crystals pierced the bare skin of my face. I attempted to shield my cracked lips and numb nose with the prickly collar of my threadbare coat. With extreme envy I looked up to my fur-coated brother, who stood so tall and so grand that he blocked my view of the rising sun. As we treaded forwards, I heard the rustling of the street vendors as they prepared their merchandise for a busy day at the bazaar.
Benjamin’s voice rose above the rest, “Can you not move your feeble feet any faster?” He swept his foot across the snow, pushing the cold wetness right into the opening of my holed boot. A well-dressed girl walked by, leaking a soft giggle that echoed in my ear. I felt the frustration building in my lungs until an abrupt cough ripped through my body releasing the tension. It left a dry stinging that lingered in my throat and a tangy metallic taste that violated my mouth. Around the fruit stand gathered a group of ladies who were wrapped in their woolen shawls and leather gloves. They glanced at me and then took a noticeable step away. Was it my unbearable stench? Did they decide to join the army of people who took every chance to extract joy from my suffering? After I passed by, the women huddled behind me, whispering the cause of my ostracism: consumption.
Instantly, I felt as if I were suffocating, as if everyone’s presence was asphyxiating me. My strides grew longer and longer, and my pace grew faster and faster. I was running away, running to hide in the tunnels. But I was never meant to be free; my brother yanked me by my scarf which tightened around my neck like a noose. He lifted me up and struck me with his other fist. The impact sent me tumbling to the ground. I heaped there, stunned, while a crowd of complete strangers gathered and cheered my brother on. Perhaps it was my poverty – my degradation – my ostracism – I felt like I had nothing to lose. I grabbed at a fistful of snow, and allowed the warmth of my hands to melt the surface so that it would refreeze into ice. At that moment, I felt the penetration of evil spirits as they filled me from the crown to the toe top-full of dire revenge. And with all my strength, I hurled the snowball at him. I refused to accept my perceived inferiority.
Benjamin ducked instantly, dodging the snowball and the trailing dust. His body blocked my view of the weapon’s trajectory. Suddenly, a desperate cry pierced the air. I got up. I saw it. It was a patch of red snow. It was ten feet away. In the middle lay the innocent Mrs. Dempster grasping at her unborn child. The color in my face was drained, not because of the horror unfolding before me but because of the absence of my remorse. A glance at the crowd revealed a moment locked in time where everyone’s bottom jaw hanged so low that it looked dislocated. I could not hold back the slight curve in my lip that revealed a smile. I was instrumental in the heroic rebellion of the helpless against his oppressor; I was a hero capable of compelling respect. I was empowered.
Please comment with your interpretation of this political allegory!