Muse and Vampiress is a most tender suspense-romance story between a female pathological doctor from Transylvania and a pretty-looking boy who entered a northern Bulgarian medical school. The student has a gender identity disorder which he didn’t recognize by himself. A quiet yet sweetest love develops between the two.
Aaron Robinson/Anya: is the protagonist of the novel. He is 19 years old and of medium height. Aaron has a fair complexion, powder blue eyes and golden blonde hair. His effeminate features and mannerisms lead to his being called ‘a pansy, pussy and a faggot’ by peers.
Undiagnosed GID, which causes great spiritual anguish within Aaron, makes him leave his house in the sun-kissed Miami to join the Majestic Medical College in a cold remote region of Northern Bulgaria. His turbulence only increases with time and Aaron finds that he is unintentionally rebuffing the friendly advances made by his classmates. Since Aaron doesn’t relate to the human race, he finds that he is attracted neither to men or women. He spurns the advances of girls who try to hit on him. However, reticence brings Aaron no solace and he continues to suffer. Classmates, eventually, start gossiping about him and call him names like ‘Malakoi’ and ‘Cinaedus’ that are just archaic variations of ‘Pansy, faggot etc’.
Aaron’s life changes when his beautiful, mysterious pathology professor cum artist, Dr. Bianca Rusev enters it. For the first time in his life, Chris finds that he is attracted to someone. An unusual, very sensual romance blossoms between the two. The strange, reclusive Dr. Rusev recognizes that Aaron suffers from GID and helps him accept, even embrace his inner femininity. Dr. Rusev sees in Aaron her muse Anya, whom she wishes to paint.
Dr. Bianca Rusev: is Aaron Robinson’s reclusive pathology professor cum lover. She is a tall, slender woman of indeterminate age: Dr. Rusev could be anywhere between 25 and 50 years of age. She is extremely pale, has dark depthless eyes and luxuriant raven black hair. Students claim that Dr. Rusev has looked the same for years. It is rumored that she loves to paint.
Principal Petrov: is the small, Sour-faced principal of the Majestic Medical College. He disapproves of Aaron’s dressing in drag and occupying the women’s’ wing of the college hostel and lets him off with a stern warning. In the wake of Aaron’s continuing to dress like a woman and his impertinent behavior with the genetics professor, Principal Petrov, in consultation with the chairman of the medical college, rusticates Aaron.
Muse and Vampiress
Chapter 1 – The Malakoi
It was a cold and snowy morning. I walked on aimlessly. The area around me was sparse and gloomy, interspersed with bare rocks and a few icy lakes. Albeit for a few stray pines and Granit oaks, vegetation was non-existent. I took a turn around the Rila monastery and headed towards the Majestic College in Bulgaria that I was studying in.
Metamorphosing from a high school student to a wannabe medico was a herculean change. The chilling clime of the Northern region of Bulgaria was a striking contrast to the sun-kissed Miami I grew up in. Yet not much had really changed. The disorientation, the spiritual crisis, the feeling of being lost was very much present. The spiritual crisis that has become the identity of Aaron Robinson: me.
I hadn’t ever suspected that it was GID or Gender Identity Disorder that I was suffering with. Probably thanks to my ultra religious Catholic upbringing, it was impossible for my conscious-self to recognize that I was a woman trapped in a man’s body. My father, a pastor and mother a devout Christian, didn’t recognize homosexuality or the fluidity of genders. For them there are just two genders: male and female. Therein lay my problem.
It wasn’t as if I was homosexual. I wasn’t even heterosexual. Until then, I hadn’t experienced the slightest stirrings of sexuality. How could I love either men or women, when I didn’t relate to the human race at all? At that time, I was comparable to a plant that impregnates itself with its own pollen or a Komodo dragon that reproduces through parthenogenesis. I was a completely asexual person.
Girls in medical college didn’t realize this. They, like the ones in high-school, hit on me numerous times. My reclusiveness and put-on haughty manner didn’t seem a deterrent. Their attentions probably had something to do with the ‘good-looks’ that I was blessed with: golden blonde hair, blue-eyes and a significant length of bone. My skin was as smooth as a girls’.
However, I hadn’t had much luck in the friendship quarter. I had assumed that passing out of school would resolve my ‘spiritual crisis’ (GID) and bring me closer to humankind. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The feeling of ‘not belonging’ was as bad as before. Fellow medical students, who made congenial overtures of friendship initially, eventually left me alone. It’s not their fault. After all, I rebuffed their genuine attempts with monosyllabic answers and brusque body language.
I wished they wouldn’t gossip behind my back. Calling me ‘Malakoi’ (an effeminate male who enjoys being sexually penetrated by other males) or ‘Cinaedus’ (a man who cross dresses and flirts) was hardly in keeping with the dignity of being a part of the medical fraternity. Little did these wannabe doctors realize that talking like that didn’t behoove them. One audacious senior had come up to me, bared his big teeth in a broad artificial smile, and had, within public earshot, asked: ‘Aren’t you pregnant yet?’
Heads had turned to look at me. Eyes bore into my depths. I could hear snickers and chortles that soon turned into full-fledged belly laughs. Never had I felt so humiliated in my life. I wanted to die.
It was hard to cope, considering life as a medical student was hardly a cakewalk. It involved hours of lectures, practicing clinical skills and after-college studying. I doubted if I had ever worked so hard in my life. I coped by becoming ultra-reticent and withdrawing into my shell.
‘Anatomy class’. A fellow student informed me as soon as I entered the endless white corridors of medical school. This was my first brush with the subject. It was to be handled by Dr. Bianca Rusev, the pathologist. For some unknown reason, my heart started beating at 100 beats per minute. Blood rushed to my face making it flush hot. My head started reeling with an apprehensive-orgasmic pleasure. Dr. Rusev’s slow, languid gazes that ran all over my body as we happened to pass each other in the corridors came alive in my memory. The memory of the gaze haunted me in my dreams and I would wake up, in the middle of the night, drenched in my own sweat. One night, I dreamed I was sleeping next to Dr. Rusev, our bodies entangled in a passionate embrace. I think I was half-lying when I’d declared that I was asexual.
I had felt a mysterious attraction to Dr. Bianca Rusev ever since I joined Majestic Medical College. For one, I thought she was the most beautiful woman I had come across. Dr. Rusev was tall, had thick raven black hair and was extremely pale. She always dressed in black, a fact that students found very odd, in spite of the fact that black is a very popular color in Bulgaria. However, Dr. Rusev never ever made an exception. She had even taken permission from the college authorities to wear a black medical coat over her clothes, instead of the traditional white one.
Age-wise, she could have been anywhere between 25 and 50. I had often heard of the usage ‘indeterminate age’ and really understood what it meant after coming across Dr. Rusev. It seemed very strange that somebody could look so young, yet give the impression of being centuries old. It was said that Dr. Rusev has been teaching in Majestic Medical College ever since anyone could remember. It was also rumored that she hadn’t changed much, physically, over the years.
Nobody knew much about Dr. Rusev. She was regarded a good enough professor and a pathologist par excellence, but didn’t engage in small talk. She was even more reclusive than I was and didn’t mingle with her colleagues even. During rare instances when students met her outside class, Dr. Rusev seldom entertained questions outside of the curriculum. She worked hard during the long, freezing winter months and took a sabbatical during the short, hot summers, when, it was believed, she went away to her maternal home in Transylvania. It was also believed that Dr. Rusev loved to paint, something that enhanced my fascination for her, for I too loved and reveled in beautiful things such as art, music and literature.
I walked into the formaldehyde reeking pathology lab to find her glorious form bent over the dissection table. A body, slightly uplifted by a brick placed under the back, lay on the dissection table. Whispers around me stated that it belonged to a local mafia don. ‘The police believe he may have been shot’ whispered one bespectacled medico to another ‘they need confirmation from a pathologist’.
Dr. Rusev picked up the scalpel blade. She wasn’t wearing gloves. I noticed how long and elegant her fingers were—fingers belonging to a surgeon and an artist. In a stroke that was rapid and confident, Dr. Rusev made a vertical incision running from above the cadaver’s Adam’s apple, right down to his pelvic bone. In a neat bloodless movement, she detached the flaps covering his chest and ribs and laid them aside, exposing us to the horrendous sight of internal organs. I froze.
Dr. Rusev plunged inside the cadaver using forceps. She gently prodded the heart. The forceps easily sunk into the soft flesh. A sharp metallic click was audible as it made contact with another foreign body. With a look of zealous concentration, Dr. Rusev clutched the find with forceps and tightened her grip around it. She, presently, salvaged a 7.62 mm bullet from the deep anatomical interiors of the corpse. With a triumphant gleam in her eyes, she held it up for all of us to see.
The ground beneath my feet began to quake. I was aware of being overwhelmed by a strange weakness, until darkness took over. The next thing I was aware of was fellow medical students trying to revive me by splashing water over my face. Dr. Rusev was nowhere to be seen.
‘Great, fainting was all I needed to further enhance my “Pansy” image’ I cursed myself. Even though I had been great with medical theory and performed fairly well in practicals, the sight of a cadaver being sliced open had been too much for me. Or perhaps, it was just the Dr. Rusev effect.
I spent the rest of the day trying to concentrate on lectures and spending 4-5 hours in the laboratory, trying to ignore contemptuous looks and supercilious sniggers around me. Finally, the clock struck five; bring an end to a particularly mortifying college day.
With head bent down and hands immersed in pockets, I made my way down snow-covered cobbled alleys. The granite and quartz abounding the place, enhanced its stony, gelid feel. Everything was so still, it seemed unreal. It seemed as if time had stopped.
I heard footsteps behind me. Fearing that it was one of my fellow students who wanted to make snide remarks behind my back, I walked on. The sound of footsteps became louder. My stalker called out my name with a familiarity that was disarming.
‘Aaron’, she called out. Her voice was flat and husky, yet so oozing with estrogen that it was more erotic than the average female’s. I abruptly stopped in my tracks. No one around these parts called me by my first name. If they ever used my moniker, it was ‘Robinson’.
‘Aaron’ the fair speaker called out again. My name was a fairly common one, I had heard it spoken many time before, but I was now encompassed by the feeling that I was hearing it for the first time since the beginning of dawn. Perhaps it was because of her strange enunciation of it, characterized by a unique upward lilt of the first syllable and the exotic sensual flatness with which she said the second. A jolt of electricity juddered through my spine. It was her.
At last, I mustered the courage to look back. Dr. Rusev, looking as stunning as ever in her black trousers, boots and coat, was standing a meter behind me. ‘It’s strange’ I thought ‘I could have sworn she was calling out from a greater distance’. I attributed the distortion of sound-distance perception to winds that had, all of a sudden, begun to blow strongly. Dr. Rusev caught up with me, her long dark hair flying on the sides of her face like some gigantic bird’s wings. As she came closer, I was awestruck by the volume of her fine black hair, the surreal paleness of her marmoreal skin and the endless depths of her mysterious dark eyes.
She stood, for a whole minute, without saying a word. Dr. Rusev was regarding my body with the same languid, sensual longing as she had done in the corridors. At that moment, I had singularly insane thoughts. I was certain Dr. Rusev would grab me and press her bloodless lips on mine, force me on to the ground and make love to me right there and then; she would lick, taste and finally devour me until I ceased to be myself and became a part of her flesh.
All she said was: ‘How are you feeling?’. In a striking contrast with the passionate, rather intimate way in which she was looking at me, the voice was cool and impersonal.
‘I am alright, doctor’ I said, trying to abate the flush that had crept upto the roots of my hair ‘I am sorry for the nuisance I caused in the lab’.
‘That’s alright’ her voice was indulgent, even slightly flirtatious now ‘it’s natural enough for young (there was a sensual emphasis on young), full-blooded students to faint at their first autopsy. You’ll get used to it’.
I was overwhelmed by a wave of gratitude. After a whole day of being subjected to concealed taunts and veiled mockery, there was someone who understood, even empathized with my plight. Perhaps it was inappropriate, but caught in a moment of devotional frenzy; I clasped one of Dr. Rusev’s elegant hands in mine and kissed it. As my lips made contact with her skin, I was startled as to how cold it was. I hadn’t encountered any human being whose body temperature had dropped down to such alarmingly low levels. Yet Dr. Rusev was alive and breathing.
Embarrassed by my action, my ears started going red. Dr. Rusev clearly noticed, for she was regarding them with an amused, slightly crooked smile on her pale lips.
‘That was most improper’ I stammered ‘I am sorry’.
‘Don’t be’ said Dr. Rusev, her depthless eyes regarding me in a suggestive fashion ‘this is natural too’. We walked on for a while, wordlessly.
‘I was heading home to relax with a drink’ she suddenly said with seeming casualness ‘would you care to join me?’.
When I was about to politely refuse, the winds around us started blowing at an uncontrolled speed. Flakes of snow bounced off the ground and aimed straight at my eye. I doubled over and nearly lost my balance. Dr. Rusev remained relatively unaffected, for she stood poised and steady even in the midst of what appeared to be a mighty blizzard.
‘Come on’ she persuaded, taking me firmly by the arm ‘a cup of hot chocolate will do you wonders’.
As I walked on with Dr. Rusev, in the direction of where I supposed was her house, I realized that she was the first person in Bulgaria with whom I had conversed with at length. As the winds began growing unruly and the streets ahead became foggier, I wondered if I was the first person the super-reclusive Dr. Rusev had ever struck a conversation with.
To read the rest of the story please click here.