The air was thick, almost like dirty water, and the guests were more than fitting: Demonic creatures, mephits, even a steam elemental. As one of the rare mortals, Alluenith felt like he'd die any moment - whether more probable by suffocating or by being torn apart by one of the demons, he could not say.
At last, he found the person... creature... he was looking for. He gave him a friendly nod, then sat down at the table.
"So... what is it you wanted me to come here for?"
"I have... a story for you. You are one of these newsrag writers, correct?"
"Yes I am. What's the story, then?"
The other man smiled, showing Alluenith shining white fangs. "Not so fast, friend. I'll not tell you for free. A hundred gold... in diamonds."
The writer laughed out loud for a short second, then stopped abruptly as he realized he wasn't out for attention in this place. "I'm sorry to say I doubt your story's worth that much."
The smile appeared once more. Before answering, the man grabbed into his black leather coat, and pulled out... an apple. He watched it for a moment, then took a large bite.
Still chewing, he said, "What about the appearance of a whole new race of vampires?"
Alluenith leaned forward. "Tell me more."
"Fifty gold now, fifty more when you heard the story."
"Hmmm. Okay, I'll give it a shot. But if the story's not worth the jink, I won't pay you for any story in the future."
Throwing away the apple's remains, the vampire chewed a bit more, then gave Alluenith another smile. "I've been an inhabitant of the Abyss... one of the deeper layers, you know. It's been a nameless city, a city of the stranded... bad fate for anyone entering. There was an infamous monster living in the city - he was known as The Curser. Horrid creature... one that I met myself one day, unfortunately."
He opened the small leather bag that Alluenith had thrown on the table, peeked inside and continued his story.
"He judges your guilt - by his standards, of course - and then curses you according to your guilt. My sentence was..."
A bitter smile appeared on the man's ageless face, and he gulped. "To become an apple vampire."
Alluenith shaked his head and blinked. "A what?"
"And that is... what?"
"A vampire that longs not for blood, life juice of the mortals, but for... the juice of apples. Apple juice."
The vampire grabbed for another apple in his coat. He smiled hungrily, opened his mouth and sank his fangs into the apple. With a loud slurping, the apple dried and withered. Merely seconds later, the apple was dry as sand, and the vampire threw it away.
"I tried it," he continued his story, "I attacked a few humans in that city. You know, I was even able to drink their blood - it's not like it made me sick or anything. It even nourished me. But... it could not satisfy me. I drank the entire blood of three people, and I enjoyed not a single drop. When I drink the juice of an apple, though... it is almost orgasmic."
Alluenith came nearer, looking the vampire right into his almost white eyes. "Is this really serious? Even if I had a scratch on my neck, you wouldn't long for my blood?"
The undead smiled, then his hand shooted forward, leaving a scratch on the elf's neck. "Look. It doesn't even arouse me."
Alluenith put a hand on his neck, obviously shocked. "O... o-okay."
He took a deep breath. "Here is your other jink, blood. And... say, what did you do with the corpses of your victims?"
The vampire smiled once more. "They have risen... the spawn of a new race."