She screams, blindly, struggling against restraining arms in near-madness. It is impossible, unthinkable that this could happen, and she must make them see. She must, must, must make him see her, make him know her, because if Papa is not Papa then she is not Sara and there is no princess, no Sara, no nothing, anymore, forever.
The shout, blazing white on the wind, cuts through the voices of the police and the roaring downpour of rain like the stroke of a sword. She hears him above her own screams, her tortured soul rising from its ashes in a whirling blaze of many-colored fire. The arms that hold her back weaken and fall away like so much charred rope, and the wet pavement melts away beneath her pounding feet.
"Papa!" And she is in his arms, tight and strong, a cocoon of warmth against the cold wet world. Her heart threatens to tear itself bodily from her chest; the intensity of emotion nearly overwhelming her. To lose him, not once but twice, and the second time worse than the first – "Papa, don't ever leave me!" Not ever. Never again.
His voice murmurs brokenly in her hair and his heart hammers against her forehead. He smells of soap and wool and brandy and tobacco; he smells like Papa. His hand fits the back of her head the same way it always did. She tightens her arms around his neck and sighs, and the rain mingles with the tears on her face, washing them away.
From somewhere behind them, she hears a low, pleasant rumble - the laughter of the dark man in the turban, her friend from the attic-across-the-way. His laugh, round drops of mellow sound mingling with the rain, wraps her in honey-golden warmth, like a velvet blanket, like the air of Home.
"A very long time ago, there lived a beautiful princess, in a mystical land known as India…"
So. Yeah. I don't know that the chapter format was the best way to do this, but it was too long as one single page.
As sappy as the original, I daresay. But this was fun to do. Cuaron's visuals are so rich they deserve language just as sumptuous. I don't know that mine really measured up, but, you know, we all do our best...
Back to real life, now.