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April 8, 2020

Ep.24 – The Rest Area - A Maniac With an Axe!

Ep.24 – The Rest Area - A Maniac With an Axe!

What could ruin a friend's road trip? Maybe an axe wielding psychopath?

Episode Notes

Two pals are on their way back from a fun road trip when they make a pit stop, but now an axe wielding maniac wants to make them into a road snack!

The Rest Area by Rob Fields

Music by Ray Mattis

Produced by Daniel Wilder

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Brad and Robbie were traveling north along U.S. 23 while coming back from the Ohio State Fair one Saturday evening late in the summer. The two friends were talking about all the fun they had had while at the fair, when eventually they came to a very dark part of the freeway nearly devoid of traffic.

As Robbie was driving, Brad came up with a mischievous idea. He grinned slightly and turned to face Robbie. “Hey, Robbie, have you heard the stories about Aaron Rutter? He’s supposed to be an ax murderer who just escaped from the state mental hospital, you know.”

Robbie sighed, but kept his eyes on the road.  “It’s been said that he’s hacked up about ten people around this area in the last two days,” Brad continued, talking in a more quiet, eerie voice.

Robbie muttered a sigh. “You are so weird, man.”

Brad continued. “Rumor also has it that he eats his victims, too.” 

Robbie tried to ignore him, but Brad kept on going. “Sometimes he even fillets them.”

Robbie groaned. “Would you please shut up?”

Brad just laughed. “Oh, Robbie, you scare way too easy.” Robbie didn’t pay any attention. They continued on down the freeway. Eventually, they passed a sign that said that a rest area was one mile ahead.

“Hey, Robbie, could you pull off at the rest area when we get to it?” Brad asked. “I need to use the bathroom.”

Robbie sighed. “I guess . . .”

When they got to the rest area’s off-ramp, Robbie pulled off the freeway and parked the car. They both got out.

“I’ll just be a few minutes,” Brad said.

“Take your time,” Robbie replied.

Brad walked to the men’s restroom and went in. After taking a piss, he washed his hands and came back outside. He looked to the car to see Robbie wasn’t in it. 

Suddenly, he heard something snap not too far off in the distance. He waited there for a moment. When he didn’t hear anything, he started walking back toward the car.

Suddenly, he heard another snap, only it was closer this time.

“Robbie?” Brad uttered. “Is that you?”

There was no answer.

“Robbie?” Brad repeated, now sounding tense.

There was still no answer. 

He heard another snap. 

As before, it was closer. 

Brad was feeling really uneasy. Then, as if on impulse, he turned and headed toward the area where the vending machines were. 

As he was about to open the door and head in, he heard yet another snap. And again . . . it was closer. He turned around to look behind him.

Suddenly, a figure leapt out from nearby!

Brad felt a straight edge strike him at the back of his right shoulder blade. He was struck again almost immediately. Brad screamed with each chop.

And again!

And again!

And again . . .

“Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop! Chop!” the ax murderer shouted with glee.

Brad then realized something wasn’t right. For one thing, he didn’t feel anything actually cutting into his skin. Second, he recognized who it was that was ‘attacking’ him. 

Brad quickly turned around to see him.

“Robbie!” Brad shouted. “It was you!”

Robbie burst out into wild laughter.

“It was you all the time!” Brad cried.

Robbie managed to collect himself. He pointed to Brad. “You should’ve seen your face.”

Brad’s face twisted in anger. “I could just kill you!”

Robbie stopped laughing and became serious. “Oh, but it was okay for you to keep carrying on about Aaron Rutter in the car, huh?”

When Brad heard this, he calmed down knowing Robbie was right. He sighed. “All right, we’re even.”

“All right,” Robbie agreed. “Let’s get out of here and get home.”


As they were walking back to their car, Brad said, “You know, that was clever how you broke those sticks on the way to the vending machines.”

Robbie looked at Brad oddly. “I didn’t break any sticks, man.”

Brad looked at him in surprise. “You didn’t?”

“No,” Robbie answered. “I was hiding behind the car. When I saw you going to the vending area, I came out from behind the car and got you. I know I didn’t break any sticks.”

Now Brad was really confused. “Then if it wasn’t you –”

“I did,” a deep, rumbling voice not belonging to either of them answered from behind them.

They quickly turned around to see a big man with an ax in his hands. And he was smiling at them in a very demented way.

“So nice of you guys to show up for a late-night dinner,” the man said to them in a crazed tone.

Robbie and Brad knew at once who this man was, and they screamed in terror.

They quickly turned and ran for their car. Aaron Rutter was right behind them. 

As Robbie tried to get into the car, he heard the slam and immediately saw the ax blade embedded in the car roof. 

Brad was already a long ways away from the car. 

Robbie lashed out and kicked Rutter in the stomach to stun him, then he turned away from the car and ran himself. 

Ohshitohshitohshitohshit!” Robbie gasped as he ran for all he was worth, so much so that he was feeling his own heart pounding. 

Robbie and Brad were both running into the woods behind the rest area in separate directions. They both knew Rutter would likely catch up to them. 

Robbie pressed himself up against a tree to try and catch his breath. “I’ve got to find Brad!” he thought as he continued to catch his breath, trying to make as little noise as possible as he quickly tried to process the hell he currently found himself in.

Suddenly, Robbie screeched as he just barely avoided the ax blade that damn near embedded itself in his throat. 

He pushed himself away from the tree and resumed running.   Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Aaron Rutter trying to pull the ax out of the tree. Robbie knew he didn’t have much time before this insane psycho would be after him again.  And he still had to find Brad!

Robbie bolted into the darkness barely avoiding oncoming trees.   He knew he had to try and get back to the car somehow. He needed to get to his cell phone which he remembered leaving in one of the cupholders… or better yet, maybe he could get the hell out of that place. Rationality set in quickly, and he knew he couldn’t just leave Brad behind. 

What the fuck am I gonna do? he demanded of himself. 

Robbie backed himself up against another large tree. Again, he tried to take breaths without being too loud and alerting Rutter to his location – if he didn’t know already!

“Okay! Okay! You . . . you gotta . . . gotta think straight now!” he mouthed to himself. “Okay . . . where are you? You gotta think straight now! Where is the car? Where is it?”

He took one more long, deep breath and decided to try to get back to the rest area and get to the car. 

Robbie looked both ways to make sure that Aaron Rutter wasn’t ready to chop off his head again, and slowly pushed himself away from the tree and turned around. Cautiously, he started to make his way back to the car. 

After taking several careful steps, he muttered a curse as he heard the stick that broke under his foot. “Fuck!” he mouthed to himself. “Shit!”

Robbie forced himself to keep moving pissed at Brad for not shutting the fuck up about that insane psycho… and just why the batshit crazy fucking hell did Aaron Rutter really have to even be at that rest area? Robbie didn’t used to believe in things like fate, but now he wasn’t so sure.    “Maybe Brad is on his way back to the car,” he mouthed to himself. 

Robbie moved from one tree . . . to another . . . to another . . . cautiously . . . carefully . . . quietly . . . !


“God damn it!” Robbie whispered loudly when he felt another stick break under his shoe.

Robbie forced himself to remain focused and saw the lights in the distance. This had to be the rest area. What else was lit-up brightly at that part of outer Marion, Ohio at that hour of the night? 

He kept looking left . . . right . . . having eyes in the back of his head . . . face front . . . ! The lights were so close . . . and so far away. 

Robbie also considered that Aaron Rutter might even be waiting at the car for either one of them. Okay, maybe Rutter wasn’t hanging out at the car, but it was possible that he was keeping an eye on it. 

Okay, I just have to get my cell phone, Robbie thought. Or if Brad is there, we can get the hell out of here

Robbie felt his pockets. He felt some relief in knowing that he still had the keys on him. But then, he never just left his keys in the car – for any reason. He still had his wallet, not that he could buy Rutter off, right? 

But I just had to leave my fucking cell phone in my car! Of all the fucking things I could leave in my car, I just had to leave my fucking cell phone! How fucking dumb can I get?

Robbie decided there was no point in crying over spilled milk. He continued to creep further towards the rest area, felt as if the rest area was moving further away from him. He shook his head quickly and kept moving. 

After agonizing minutes, Robbie had finally returned to the rest area. 

He moved to the back wall and made his way around to get back to the front. He was in such a big hurry to get to the main entrance that he didn’t see the person who had suddenly placed a hand on his shoulder. 

Robbie shrieked and started to run. 


He quickly stopped when he saw it was Brad. The two of them both backed themselves up against the wall and looked each other over. Robbie looked at Brad as if saying, “You’re alive!”

Brad nodded in acknowledgement. 

They turned and started to creep along the wall, until they were both looking out at the parking lot. 

A lone car suddenly sped by the rest area. 

Both of them looked around to see if Aaron Rutter was nearby. When they didn’t see him, they cautiously moved out into the open and made their way towards the car. 

When they reached it, they quickly got into the car and pulled the doors shut. Robbie locked all the doors with a simple push of a switch on his inside door. He moved to start the car. 

No keys!

Robbie remembered that he had them in his pocket. He quickly dug for them and pulled them out. As he slid the ignition key in, Brad screamed – and the driver’s side window shattered!

Glass exploded all over Robbie and Brad. 

“Leaving so soon?” Rutter grumbled. “It’s still dinnertime.”

Robbie didn’t even think about it. He quickly turned the ignition key and started the car. 

He quickly shifted into reverse and sped out of the parking space. Rutter raised his ax and gave chase. Robbie put the car in drive and hit the gas. They’d only gone a little bit when they felt something hit the trunk. 

Brad turned around. “He hit the trunk with that ax!”

Robbie hit the brakes. 

“What the fuck are you doing?!!” Brad yelled at Robbie. 

“Hang on!”

Robbie put the car in reverse again and hit the gas. This time both of them saw Rutter holding on to his ax handle as Robbie backed the car closer and closer until . . . BOOM!!

“Shit!” Brad cried. 

Shit was right! Robbie managed to get Aaron Rutter off the car, but at the cost of backing into a utility pole, which caused the trunk to come open. The ax came loose and landed near the back window. 

At that moment, another car pulled into the rest area. 

Brad quickly got out and frantically waved to the people in the other car. “Get the hell out of here!!”

Brad took a few steps and pushed the trunk lid shut. Surprisingly, it didn’t come open again. He got back in the car. 


Robbie shifted gears and floored the accelerator. The tires squealed as the two of them pulled away from the rest area.

Robbie had hit a hundred miles per hour by the time he had merged back onto U.S. 23 North. He didn’t slow the car down again until he’d cleared the Marion bypass and reached State Route 4. From there, they would turn towards Bucyrus and head for home. 

Later, after drooping Brad off, Robbie walked into his house. 

Robbie shrieked when he felt something leap out at him. Robbie realized where he was again and whom he was holding… “Oh, hey, doggie,” he said. “You gotta stop coming at me like that.” He sighed. “Come on, let’s go to bed.”   “Whew!” Robbie said to himself. “Well, at least we left that crazy motherfucker back at that rest area.” From there, Robbie went into his room and got ready for bed. When he got into bed, his dog still seemed restless, but still managed to get a few solid licks in.

“Come on, buddy, stop with the licking already and go to sleep.”

That was the last thing Robbie remembered before he was dead to the world. 

Licking is what woke Robbie up from a sound sleep. Robbie groaned as he felt the gentle licking on the side of his face. 

Then Robbie realized something was off when he smelled something weird as the dog kept licking. 

“Barbecue sauce?!”

Robbie tried to move, but he realized quickly that he couldn’t!  He quickly woke up fully, and took in his surroundings. 

He saw that he was outside in the backyard. He also realized that it was getting hotter. That was when he felt his own flesh starting to burn.

Robbie was tied and gagged and on his own barbeque grill

“Oh, hi!” a horrible, familiar, grumbling voice said in his ear. “So glad you woke up. Dinner will be ready soon.”

Robbie looked up and saw Aaron Rutter wearing an apron and dipping the brush back into the barbeque sauce. 

“You worked up quite an appetite in me,” Rutter continued. “Just a few more strokes . . . and . . . all done.”

Robbie couldn’t really think anymore as the flames started to lick and burn his flesh. 

Aaron Rutter would finally get his dinner. . .

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