(Updated 6th August)
Once a month for the three years they’ve been married, Cathy and Duncan try to make a baby: a process they both dread. They are devoted Christians, especially Cathy, who’s dad was a vicar. Her mum died during the birth of her sister, leaving Cathy to later take on the role of mother for Diana, who is seven years younger than her and rebelled against her Christian upbringing. They haven’t seen each other since Cathy’s wedding.
Following the hope and subsequent disappointment of a late period, which came after a dream about a woman in red being chased by a wolf, Cathy is irritable. When she and Duncan walk home after church, she sees a woman in a red coat outside their house. It’s Diana.
As Diana’s stay continues, so do Cathy’s dreams, which she has every time there is a full moon. At first, she identifies Diana with the woman in her dream and resists her sinful way of life by rejecting Duncan even when it’s the right time to try for a baby. Later, however, she becomes more sexual and begins to see the woman as her reflection and Diana as a threat.
She tries to seduce Duncan but he is horrified. As she persists, he becomes angry and rapes her. The next morning she wakes with the feeling that she had a terrible nightmare but refuses to remember what happened. She spends the days in bed, sleeping and reminiscing. On their wedding night, she’d been excited but Duncan had called this sinful. When she’d disagreed, he’d become angry and raped her to teach her a lesson: sex is not to be enjoyed. He’d saved her from her sinful beliefs until Diana had come and led her astray, sending her dreams of the woman in red. She covers all the mirrors.
When trying again a month later, the cloth on the mirror slips, revealing the woman who is laughing at her. She shatters the mirror, then runs through the house to destroy the others. The photographs of her are all of the woman, also laughing; she smashes the frames, rips up the photos and escapes the house. She runs to the vicarage, thinking it is her home, and sees Diana with the vicar. She flees to the cathedral ruins but the woman pursues her. She runs to the cliffs, then down to the beach. Her mother stands in the sea, waiting for her, and Cathy tears into the waves.
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