Lea, a mature Neapolitan woman who runs a box office in the Lotto in a northern city, has had thirteen children, but all but one have died from abortion or after a few months of life. The only survivor, Michele, is taken care of by her with morbid affection: she is convinced that she has stolen it from death by negotiating with her, so she is not willing to give it away either to her country or to another woman. When Michele gets engaged with a pretty dance teacher, the mother, to avert her detachment, makes a new sacrifice to Death, suppressing three spinster friends, from which she obtains soap and biscuits. His call to arms comes for his son: to get him back, Lea wants to multiply his sacrificial rites, targeting, this time, a silent maid and the hated girl of Michael. The carabinieri will stop it in time.