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Fraudulent Fertilisation

Episode 29

Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli
Smaller text sizeDefault text sizeBigger text size Add to my bookshelf epub mobi Permalink Ebook MapMar del Plata, Bosque Peralta Ramos
Sunday 17th September 1989

“What a lovely bump! It’s going to be a big bouncing baby, don’t you think, Juanita?”

Esteban Álvez was joking with Juana Artigas; her pregnancy was coming along , it was more than four months now.

“Don’t laugh so much, Esteban, we’re walking on thin ice. Sometimes I’m very frightened; if this adventure went wrong, it would be terrible.”

“Why would it go wrong? Don’t be pessimistic, Juani. Everything will go perfectly, it’s carefully planned, down to the last detail. You yourself said my plan was great, have you changed your mind?”

“No, dear, that’s why I’m fairly calm. But often I’m assaulted by fear, I can’t help it.”

“Forget that nonsense, look how well your baby’s growing, what you’d hoped for so much will soon be reality.”

“Are you sure Burán will pay, Esteban? It doesn’t look that simple. Don’t get your hopes up too high, just in case. I know him, he’s a fighter.”

“Yes, I don’t doubt it, Juani, but in order to fight, you need weapons. He hasn’t got any, we’ve got all of them. From the legal point of view, he’s dead in the water. Don’t think about what we did, pretend you had sex with him when you went to visit him. Only you could know that detail, he’s got no way out. What could he say? The worst thing that could happen is that he refuses to pay compensation immediately. In that case, he won’t get out of paying child support, a result which is not to be sneezed at. Besides, with a bit of luck, he could have an accident or illness and die. In that case, your little one will have no choice but to inherit his fortune. That would be sad, wouldn’t it?”

“I suppose you’re joking, aren’t you, Esteban? Don’t say such terrible things to me, we never talked about the death of Roberto.”

“No? In that case, I forgot... But don’t worry, we’re not going to do anything, for the time being, of course.”

“What do you mean? You frighten me, Esteban. Explain everything, now!”

“Calm down, little dove, nothing’s going to happen, it’s just that your little friend Burán is going to have to look after himself. He’ll be better off collaborating, clearing the way, not being difficult. I suppose he’s not stupid, I suppose he knows what could happen if he doesn’t give way.”

“This is very serious, we hadn’t discussed it; something like that never crossed my mind, I don’t agree. Besides, it’s dangerous. Do you think Roberto’s just going to suck his thumb, that he won’t do anything?”

“I know what he can do from the legal point of view, which is almost nothing. Nothing else worries me very much; I don’t think he’ll dare to actually attack us. In any case, I’m ready to defend myself. I’ve taken out a licence to carry a pistol and I know how to use it. The best thing Burán can do is to take good care of himself.”

“But if Roberto dies, how will you show that that he’s the father of my unborn child?”

“Nowadays there’s no problem; legally, it’s feasible, and scientifically too. Filiation can be proved even after the death of the father. We simply have to take the precaution of requesting that the judge extracts an organic sample from the body. Then, the biological test can easily be carried out; what’s more, we can be certain of the result.”

“But are you really thinking of eliminating him? I can’t believe it, it’s too much, Esteban. It’s horrible, you tricked me, you didn’t tell me you could do a thing like that.”

“If I had told you, what would you have done? Wouldn’t you have supported me just the same? Would you have been capable of leaving me at the mercy of the moneylenders? I think I know you, you would have helped me anyway. Life’s like that, dear, a fight for survival. If that damned Burán hadn’t destroyed me financially, we wouldn’t be hounding him now. He was asking for it by being so pedantic and inflexible. I’ll get my own back, I can assure you. I don’t like the idea of having to wipe out a human being, but I can admit it to you, I’ll do it if necessary. I’ve invested money, time and effort in this business, I won’t allow myself to fail.”

“When do we begin the offensive? Have you decided?”

“Everything’s sorted out, dear, you’re going to go and see Doctor Allegri, pretending that you’re a woman scorned. He doesn’t have to find out the truth, even if he suspects something. When it’s nearly time for the birth, we’ll call on Burán to acknowledge that the child about to be born is his. At that time we’ll negotiate intensely; if there’s no arrangement, we’ll bring a lawsuit. According to the information I’ve stockpiled, we’re bound to beat him. This’ll be a good bit of business, you’ll see. We’ve got to be strong, unhesitatant...”

“It’s not that easy, Esteban, and less so when you’re talking about killing a man...”

“It’s kill or be killed, little dove. Who’s going to pay the loan sharks? You? No, dear, it was all his fault I was ruined, or nearly all his fault. He’ll have to contribute solutions with his money. If I change my mind, it’ll be curtains. Is that clear? Do you realise that my own safety is at stake?”

“As usual, you end up persuading me; you’re a wretch. Poor child, what a world awaits him...”

“Don’t feel sorry for him, Juani, his future is assured. He won’t have any problems, thanks to us. Don’t forget this either, it’s not fair that you should deprive your unborn son of Burán’s fortune. Are you with me?”

“You already know, Esteban,” answered Juana Artigas, “I’ll always follow you.”

Translation: Peter Miller (© 2002)
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Copyright ©Ricardo Ludovico Gulminelli, 1990
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Date of publicationJuly 2002
Collection RSSGlobal Fiction
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