Lethal Life - Short story - Astonishing Drama

Past and Present

You may find the link to the 'short' from the "WORKS" drop-down, " FREE SHORT STORIES." Please share your thoughts. Richard Ong illustrated the Bewildering Stories presentation. Tell me if you can see the correlation.

Two people inspire me as I work with this project, and they deserve a note of thanks: Richard Ong, my content advisor, friend, and muse. Don Webb, senior editor at BwS, for critique and encouragement.

Learn More about "Lethal Life"

Before reading the Lethal Life short, read up on ancient Middle Eastern mythology. Here's a place to start

Art by Richard Ong

Lethal Life - Illustration by Richard Ong

Bewildering Stories illustration for the short story (novel excerpt)

Richard's  note, below, about the image above gives some incite as to where the novel will take you:

"Evolution comes in many forms. It need not be a direct lineage of our faulty human nature. Many of you have heard of cybernetics – a branch of engineering that attempts to either replace or augment human functionality with technology. 

"The second artwork for Lethal Life is a satirical abstract representation of this controversial branch of science. I drew part of my inspiration from an earlier literature by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. By showing how the human brain can be brutally augmented by puncturing the proverbial grey matter in several places using a network of pulsating fiber optic implants, I hope to depict an artistic protest that we need to slow down and perhaps appreciate the snail's pace elegance of our own natural evolution."

Learn More

Visit this link and scroll down to Richard's art links in the next section


Richard Ong

Favorite art links


A young woman is in deep thought at an apartment in Paris. Media: acrylic


“Viking Queen”

This artwork is in keeping with our love of traditional savage, fantasy, sword-wielding women like Red Sonja and History Channel heroines such as Shieldmaiden Lagertha from "Vikings." Media: acrylic and digital


“Siege of the Ice Fortress”

As the last of her kind, this avian warrior will risk everything to defend her fortress. Media: acrylic and digital


“Queen Titania”

With just a wee bit of fairy dust, Queen Titania can wipe away all your troubles. Media: acrylic and digital


“Crossroads to Martyrdom”

This artwork is an homage to all the saints and martyrs of Christendom. Media: acrylic and digital


"Daughter of Helios"

The First Daughter of the Sun sits in repose. Media: charcoal and acrylic


"Dance of the Water Nymph"

A sea nymph dances in rhythm to the waves. Media: charcoal and acrylic


“Battle at Hell’s Gate”

A bloodied and battle-weary Warrior Angel makes her last stand at the Gates of Hell. Media: acrylic and digital


“Snow Queen”

This visual rendition of the Snow Queen and Kay is an homage to Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless fairy tale. Media: acrylic and digital


“Beowulf and Grendel”

Machine Knight Beowulf hacks off Grendel's cybernetic head with his quantum axe, thus ending a 3,000-year old galactic war between the two species. Media: graphite and digital


“Sea Nymph”

Legend has it that throughout the centuries, the siren's song led many hapless sailors astray from their course. The bewitching voice is far more potent than any aphrodisiac and anyone who breaks free will spend the rest of their days tortured by an irresistible longing to be part of the sea. Media: acrylic and digital


“Enchantress of Books”

This painting is the cover of Alison McBain's enthralling anthology of the same title, "Enchantress of Books." Media: acrylic and digital