Issue One is the first issue of At the Royce's first volume. It was published on December 26th, 2014.
The spider woman blew her kiss as the lights faded. The curtain flopped and fell, its shiny red cloth glimmering towards the audience. A roaring applause bolted through the seats upon the stage, comforting the company behind the large drapery. They all sighed, knowing the final performance to their dreaded show was over.
-"Oh, fuck, finally!" cried one of the dancers, wiping the sweat off his tan forehead. "Finally, we're done here..."
-"Come on, Bobby, we've still gotta do the end" said a woman standing by him.
-"What? No, to hell with that. I'm done with this damn show. Tell Raoul he can shove it up his fancy ass" said the man, marching towards the side of the stage, where a fair-skinned woman stood, holding a clipboard.
-"Bobby, get back on stage! You still have to do the closing!" said the woman, raising her view from the clipboard and opening her eyes like plates.
-"Aw, fuck... c'mon, just let me out! Please, this is the worst show I've done in years! They can't see me here!" he stammered, pushing the stage hand.
Between the cries and angry stammering backstage, the curtain quickly raised. The audience was faced with a grim image. A consensual gasp flew down the seats, along with a surprised face. Bobby and the woman were still arguing, interrupting the production among them.
-"What the fuck is going on?" asked someone from the audience.
-"Keep your drama somewhere else! I came to see a damn show!" cried another voice. Blushing, the poor dancer turned and faced the audience. "Aw, shit, no..." he mumbled. "I'm... I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry!"
There was a sharp booing that emanated from the audience, some standing up and some still complaining about the interruption. Bobby's sight seemed to narrow and turn warmer, as his surprised expression cast a shadow on his otherwise joyful face. The audience seemed to grow uncontrollably, like a beanstalk wrapping itself around the ensemble. They all had horrid faces, yammering at the cast for not ending the show. As Bobby ran for cover backstage, the screaming got worse. It seemed like the yelling ran across the theater, covering every hall and every dressing room.
Raoul woke up to the sound of knocking. He sat all by himself, resting his back on a thick leather couch. The back of his neck lay on top of the edge by the side, making it ache. He sweated like a race horse, his eyes covered in tears and his young stubble drenched in drool. He sniffed and felt a lump down his nostrils, hardening the pain around his nose and eyes. Slowly, he swiped his sleeve across his dry lips, taking away the drool that hung from them.
-"Bloody hell..." he whispered, wiggling his toes. "What time is it?"
He yawned and stood up for the couch, helplessly stumbling towards the door. "Who is it?" he reluctantly asked, placing his hand on the door.
-"Oh... uh... hi" said a familiar voice on the other end.
-"Maureen? What... what time is it?" asked Raoul, distancing himself from the door.
-"Oh, come on. Don't be silly, just open the door!" chuckled the voice.
-"Just tell me what time is... you woke me up"
-"I don't know, it's like... six?"
-"Well, are you sure? It can't be six, the sun is all the way up..."
-"Just open the door, dummy!"
Raoul opened the door. There stood a rather pale and fine young woman, smiling from ear to ear. She wore a soft purple sweater, which mixed with her long, draping red hair. "Good morning, sleepyhead!" she cheered, extending her arms and walking through the doorway.
-"Uh... hi" greeted Raoul, walking backwards to avoid Maureen's usual hug.
-"Did you sleep well?" she asked, smiling nevertheless.
-"Uh... yeah. Yeah, I did" stammered Raoul.
-"Well, I'm sorry! What's got you all cranky?"
-"Nothing, really. I'm just... tired"
-"Nah. I know you, hon, and I know you get crankier when you're tired. You're in a medium level right now. Come on, just tell me"
-"No, really. I'm okay"
-"Agh, stop hiding stuff from me... I know you're not okay. You talk a lot more when you are. Something is clearly wrong"
-"Maureen, it's nothing! Leave me alone, okay? I need my rest!"
-"Woah, calm down! I'm just asking, no need to jump at me!"
-"Oh, damn... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I'm getting all barmy, fuck..."
-"You're not very good at lying, are you? C'mon, just tell me..."
Maureen marched towards the couch and lightly sat on the edge of it. She patted the spot next to her, waving for Raoul to sit down.
-"C'mon, give me a piece of your mind. Let's trim that bush that is your brain, huh?"
-"Nah, I'd rather not. Thanks a lot for caring, though" said Raoul, as he stumbled towards the door and pushed it open without looking back.
-"No! Get back here! I wanna help you!"
-"I don't need your help, Maureen. I'm okay. Stop worrying so much, you'll get all wrinkly"
Raoul creaked the door open and marched outside, ignoring Maureen's calls.
- Bobby (Flashback)
- Unnamed stage hand (Flashback')
- First appearance of Raoul.
- First appearance of Maureen.
- First appearance of Bobby.
- First appearance of the unnamed stage hand.
- Kiss of the Spider Woman is revealed to be the last show performed at the Royce theater.