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renee, 1947

It is an August morning, nineteen forty-seven at Place de la Concorde, Paris. The pavilion is a sea of stones inlaid with white mortar. The man behind the camera focuses his attentions on a young woman in a fitted wool jacket. He has stationed himself spatially above her while she has turned her back to him. A light cap rests on her neatly bundled black hair. Stray wisps of hair peek over her jacket collar. She has been instructed to plant her feet and twist her upper body from left to right. The effect results in her thick skirts billowing in plumes around her legs. Three young men in suit jackets enter the scene from the upper left hand corner. The farthest man is jaunty and nonchalant as though this isn't the first photograph he intruded upon. His fingers snap to a secret rhythm. The middle man has unruly hair which swelled since he left his apartment. The man closest to the camera is the only member of the trio who bothered to wear a matching suit. His hair is swept from one lateral side of his head to the next leaving the observer free to note his gigantic nose. The right side of his mouth is cocked in an exhausted sneer. He will become thick and menacing as the youth drains from his face in rivulets. As he enters onto the scene, he glances unsteadily toward the camera lens. Everything is blurred in motion except the ample curvature of her waist. Her name was Renée and it was August nineteen-forty seven in Paris.