The third character from Fervor that I’ve chosen to discuss on my blog is Francis, the first character whom Sam interacts with in the story. Francis is probably one of the greatest enigmas in the story because he chooses not to share much with the other members of his house-family, and it is his secrecy that deters them from sharing with him in return. He is the Teller, able to psychically manipulate those who are a part of the connection. He is charismatic and his commands are compelling to the point that they cannot be resisted. The only one in the house-family who is immune to their influence is Royce, the Control, and this is only because Royce is not a part of the connection.
Sam’s first exposure to Francis is startling:
He(Sam) glanced up, expecting to see the warm brown eyes of Maria – believing that maybe she had woken him, and that he just had not completely shaken himself free from the nightmare yet. The hand on his shoulder, however, did not have Maria’s feminine fingers or slightly swarthy skin. It was a pale hand, larger than Sam’s, with squared fingernails that looked slightly chewed. Sam looked up with surprise.
Before Sam could say anything – no, before Sam could think anything, the older boy looked into his eyes, put a finger to his lips, and inside Sam’s head there was a distinct and obvious “shhhhhhh.”
Sam obeyed. He could not help but obey. It was as much a compulsion as it was a desire to please the strange blond boy with pale green eyes. Then, the boy talked to him, only he didn’t move his mouth.
“I’m Francis. I’m here to help you. I’m a Teller, and we have to go to the Gathering. Don’t say anything. Don’t even think anything. Quiet your mind as much as you can. Then, if you want to say something to me – if you want to ask me any questions, you have to focus your thoughts at me. Think at me. Do you understand? Nod if you do.”
Part of Francis’s role as a Teller is upholding the Directives, but he doesn’t always seem happy about this fact, and the Directives that he enforces restrict his actions as well. Sometimes it is obvious that he is fairly disturbed by what he has to do. Others are disturbed by it as well – Fiona, the Keeper of the group refuses to trust him and holds him partially at fault for their circumstances. The curious Sam is always trying to pry more information from him and finds his irresistible commands frustrating. Royce butts heads with him on a regular basis and Sarah constantly worries about him, the only one of the house-family who honestly appears to care about the melancholic Teller. No matter what goes wrong in the house, Francis always seems to be at the root of any conflict.
Next week: Royce, a Control out of control…