Martin Boulevard had been invited to an estate in Maine for the weekend. After some pressure from his friend Maury back in the city, he accepted the invitation, and the following day, he drove to the home of reclusive millionaire Geoffrey Tusk.
He had two eyes on the road at all times, of course, but he peered out to the trees by the roadside, and saw the leaves mid-change, from green to any other colour of the rainbow. He didn't see the appeal. Leaves were leaves, all trees have them. Why are these trees so special?
The phone on the passenger seat made a chime, signifying that he had gotten a text message. Probably one of the last ones he'd get in this part of the country. It was just one of the drawbacks of accepting dinner with a recluse; they liked their privacy. He glanced at it sitting there, unmoving, a small light blinking on the side. Should I risk it? Take my eyes off the road for a message from the civilised world? He did, and quickly reached over, and grasped it firmly with his right hand on the first try. Hardly a victory, but he smiled anyway. He was still in one piece, and he had the phone. The screen glowed alive, and the message read clear: Welcome to Maine, Marty.
Martin looked at the message again. The name was right, the state was right, but the only person he told that he was going to Maine was too paranoid to own a phone, and drank too much.
The unknown caller sent another text, this one slightly cryptic. I'm thinking of getting rid of my phone Marty, so there's not much point in trying to call. But, you might need this: 18772901. Ciao.
Although he wasn't sure who the texter was, and how much else he knew, Martin's focus was on the eight numbers he was sent. What do they mean? He wondered.