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The Vault is home to intimate stories by women — our deepest thoughts, our darkest secrets, and our untold experiences worth sharing.
Fiction by Kate Barss. Illustrated by Sophia Foster-Dimino.
Reading through Camouflages will make you feel as though you are watching a secret slowly unveil itself in the dark. You will want to turn a flashlight towards it, expose what is going on beneath the surface, look deeper. You will want to set it free.
Because: there is something very relatable snaking through this collection of flash fiction. Woven in between passages about queerness and violence are mystifying descriptions of how animals transform and camouflage in nature. Using the Latin names of amphibians, insects, and other wild things, Kate explores something in these species’ desires to disguise that is also inherent in our selves. Humans, too, will hide as a defense, although the science might be less straightforward. When we go into camouflage, are we aware that we’re doing it? How do we know what parts of ourselves to reveal, when, and to whom? With a gripping, fine-tuned sensitivity, this story asks these questions, and more, demonstrating that transformation — or, growth — requires a level of vulnerability.
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Written by Nada Alic,
Illustration by Paige Vickers
A story about being believed.
Written by Helen Yohannes,
Illustration by Nicole Miles
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Written by Kate Barss,
Illustration by Sophia Foster-Dimino
A story about hiding out.