The Pacifist cover

In 1866, Peter Baxter’s misfortune ends the day he leaves Badgerys Creek orphanage. Unsure of what to do next, Peter finds himself on a farm run by Mr. Brown. An aging man, Brown needs help and is happy to give Peter a place to live in exchange for his labor. Unbeknownst to Peter, Brown’s past is riddled with dark secrets tied to the same orphanage, which he has documented in a red folder.

During a chance encounter, Peter meets Rose. Peter cannot help but fall in love with her beauty, grace, and wit but fears that his affection will go unrequited as a result of his crippling poverty. But fate changes when Peter joins the search for gold in Hill End, New South Wales. Striking it rich, he returns to Rose a wealthy man. Peter is changed by his new found affluence, heading towards the mire of greed. Will Rose regret her relationship with Peter? 

Meanwhile, Rose has her own troubled history. One that is deeply entwined with Brown’s past and Peter’s future.

Rose's Lament

Daddy dad! Oh what am I to do now? Malcolm? No no nothing! He is but a baby No Oh this! This despair. Unbearable pain. The loneliness. But Malcolm is still small. Who? What am I to do? Quiet. Listen! Listen to the music. It is but the music of silence. For life has completely gone out of him. Grey lips, Pale. He is so pale. Frozen like the still snow topped mountain. His body cut out to melt. Pulverise in grave. Eaten away by moths of… days go but nights…Oh how dark is it? How dark is it in that grave? Peter Peter can you hear me? The coffin to be lowered. Swollen like a belly full of water. the river flowed. The shimmering silver but look something sails it sails but not in isolation. Multitude of swollen floating. Floating like fallen leaves and the thin stringy water dripping barks of the poplars. Wake up! Peter please wake up. Look at our Malcolm. How he thrives in health… Who would take over Peter? All this wealth! The Gold! Yes the Gold. Who would run the business now? Malcolm can’t! I can’t either. John? What does he know? He doesn’t know business.

Oh but you were never there. Look at me. Look me in the eye and tell me how was I to cope? Those lonely days have silenced our lives. Yours and mine, infidelity! That was it wasn’t it? But I ran on the beach. I flung myself on the sand. I sink. Peter hold me. Pull me up. For I’m lost without you. I never knew I was so helpless. Have you seen God? Have you seen my two mothers. Emma and Lydia. Speak to me Peter please. Show yourself to me? Have you entered the heavenly nether-lands of death.

Life. thrives beautifully in a never ending stream of life. Where there is no pain, no death, no fear. But is it me? is it really me in that kingdom of heaven? Peter I have questions for you. One too many to ask God. Eternal life. What would that be? The ocean in the front. Shimmers of dark water of odra… not down that way? Acheron? The river of pain. Through the powerful lenses of the lighthouse but…  the Cocytus. The wails never end. They never do…When will I see you Peter? Will you come in my dream? There I see … I see you now… a shadow … an apparition …come to tell me how I failed. That strong smell of the skin balm. I can smell your odor. Your body odor does not beguile me. But Oh it does round and round the Oceanus. The laments of the widow down the Phlegethon down the depths of Tartarus.

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