Shiners

What’s the matter with Glenna?

 

When a girl is struck by lightning before she is even born, things can only get worse. Right? That’s what the doctors say. Even Glenna’s father agrees. The girl has no chance in the world of being ‘normal’.

 

It turns out they are right. Poor Glenna is a pretty girl but her brain has been short-circuited. Her moods are drastically effected by the weather. She’s constantly charged with static electricity that’s strong enough to stop watches. She hardly ever talks and when she does its mostly to people no one else can see or hear.

 

Glenna’s mother thinks her invisible friends are Choctaw spirits. Everyone else thinks they are her imagination.  Glenna calls them Shiners. They seem to be the only friends she has.

 

The Shiners show up during thunderstorms, and any time Glenna is in danger. Her invisible friends come in handy when unsavory men try to take advantage of the pretty ‘simple-minded’ girl. Like the pedophile who is shot dead while hiding outside her house, or the teenage boy who nearly bleeds to death after kidnapping her, or the abusive uncle, who’s electrocuted.

 

It looks like Glenna has met her match when her mother puts her in the care of a charismatic minister who’s taken a special interest in her. The Reverend Junior Johnson knows all about invisible companions. He has a few of his own, including the ghost of his late wife, who holds him responsible for her death.

 

The preacher whisks Glenna away to his Paraguayan mission where he can have her to himself, but things don’t go according to plans. More Shiners are waiting for her in Paraguay, and the ghost of the preacher’s wife, and ancient Indian spirits trapped inside burial pots who’ve been expecting someone like Glenna for a thousand years.