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The Virtual God of Insanity

Delphine Gauthier-Georgakopoulos

Karen added layer after layer of creams and foundations on her face, checking the effect with her favourite filter. Perfection was a must. Every day.

She peeked through her make-up bag and shrieked. “Carol, where is my anthracite eye-liner? For Facebook’s sake, when will you stop nicking my stuff? You’re such a troll!”

Her daughter’s muted answer slithered through the room. “Okay, no need to shout your head off, and thanks for the insult… seriously… One sec… Here, found it…”

As Carol pushed the master bedroom door open, David, his trousers half hanging down one leg, roared. “Get out! Can’t I get some privacy in this house?” His bare leg kicked the door shut.

Carol’s giggle came through like a faint breeze. “Oops, sorry Dad. Good thing I wasn’t streaming!”

Karen rolled her eyes. “Just leave it on the coffee table and go check on your brother. Make sure he wears what I picked.”

“Waste of time. And he’s eighteen, you know?”

“Yes, Carol, and your father is fifty-three and still has shitty taste. It runs in the family. Sadly, I did not know that when I married him.” Karen glowered at her husband as she grabbed her make-up. “David. Is it too much to ask for you to have a minimum of… just tuck the shirt in-the-trousers. By TikTok, you’re not actually planning to wear a brown belt with those trousers?”

She grabbed a black belt hanging on the back of a chair and flung it in his general direction.

“Are you insane? You hit my face!”

“Will it leave a bruise?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So who cares?”


Karen fidgeted with her ‘good-imitation’ handbag. “David, you’re driving like an eighty-year-old. Move it, will you? If we’re late, she’ll post about it.”

She turned in her seat, glaring at her children at the back.

“Carol, I expected better from you. Your blouse is too tight. It makes you look like a milking cow.” She sighed. “John, dear boy, gel is not optional when you have that much hair. I should have booked you an appointment with the hairstylist.”

David shook his head. “He’s a lad. Lads go to the barbershop.”

Darling, just watch the road, will you?”

David parked the car and scowled at his wife. “We’re there, darling.

“Are you sure? It doesn’t look very… expensive.”

“That’s the address your sister sent. The restaurant should be…” He checked his phone. “Over there.”


Karen sniffed the air, bitter lines threatening to mark her flawless make-up. “Cheap and oily. You must have the wrong—”

“Over here, guys!” Jane waved at them from the back.

Karen felt her mouth drop further. Why is she alone? What is she wearing? Is that a… dungaree? Oh-my-Tweet, I saw one on socials, but I didn’t pay attention. Bohème is back.

She kissed the air around her sister’s cheeks and settled at the table.

Greasy tablecloth, this just keeps getting better.

Once they had all settled, Jane poured champagne into their glasses.

Karen glanced at her younger sibling. “What’s going on? Where’s Raymond? Is he joining us later?”

Jane breathed fast. “He certainly is not. He ignored my posts and tweets. Not one like, or one share in a week. Nothing. He’s barely there at all. So, I cancelled our relationship…” She sniffed, pretence-dabbing her eyes. “I can’t talk about it. Let’s just enjoy our meal, shall we?”

Karen patted her arm. “I have to ask, what is this place?”

“This is the only restaurant in town still serving actual meat.”

John’s face lit up. “For real?”

“Yes, sweet boy. We’re having a real burger tonight. I took the liberty of ordering for all of us.” Jane beamed.

“Awesome.” John high-fived his sister’s left hand—her right one busy live streaming.

David sniggered and took off his tie.

Karen elbowed him, muttering under her wrath. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“Just look around you… we’re overdressed.” He unbuttoned his shirt. “Next time, do better research before picking our outfits. We’re going to be ridiculed in the morning.”

A hipster server approached, carrying a large tray. “Five cheeseburgers and fries!”

“Insta, yes!” Carol grabbed her napkin.

Karen picked up her phone.

I might get some decent shots. The evening might not be a total disaster after all.

Jane turned her palms up, reaching out to her sister and niece on either side. “Let us pray.”

“Oh, of course. Yes. Absolutely.” Karen replaced her phone next to her plate and took her sister’s hand.

Jane inhaled, her eyes closed. “Internet, Praise You for the unreal world that You provide. Thank You for meeting our needs of validation and egocentrism. Bless this food to fuel our image. We pray that we will be energised, liked, and get many followers. In virtual self-centerdness’s Name, by Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Facebook, so mote it be. Amen.”




John rolled his eyes. “A… Mhm.”

Jane exhaled, smiled, and readied her phone. “Let us now take pictures of the food.”

John crossed his arm, pursing his lips.

Karen stood up to get a better angle. “John, smile, will you? Carol, move your jacket. My followers have standards—”

“Can’t you just crop it off?”

“Fine… next time, though, don’t hang it like that.”

Half an hour later, David sat and took a sip of champagne. “Are we ready to upload?”

“Yes, ready.” Carol grinned.

They all nodded.

John, eyes glazing over, stifled a yawn. “Shall we eat now?”

Jane picked up her burger. “Yes, let’s.”

Karen took a bite and spat it back on her plate. “It’s cold! That’s utterly unacceptable. I’m writing a review. One star.”

Delphine Gauthier-Georgakopoulos is a Breton writer, teacher, mother, nature and music lover, foodie, and dreamer. She loves butter, needs coffee, hates easy-opening packaging, and likes to create stories in her head. Her words can be found in Roi Fainéant Press, Spare Parts Lit, JAKE, The Amazine, Funny Pearls, Every Day Fiction, among others. She is the EIC of Raw Lit and lives in Athens, Greece. 

X (formerly Twitter): @DelGeo14