I saw the grey clouds roll in and felt the soft breeze blow through my hair. Winter often made for cold days and the smell of pine needles was all around. My town of Adairsville, Georgia is nestled right in between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Atlanta, Georgia. December remains my favorite month to go for a run through Redtop Mountain down south in the town of Kennesaw. I parked in the nearly vacant lot and stretched a bit so I wouldn’t cramp up in the middle of the slippery trail. Pine straw and pine needles were notorious for covering the trails as well as deer droppings and a wide array of sticks.
I started my run at a nine-minute mile pace and reached my target of a seven-and-a-half-minute mile pace within the first five minutes. Sweat beads were beginning to roll down my face and my Georgia Bulldogs beanie was already drenched. I could hear the screams of a young child or maybe even a woman up ahead so I sped up my pace to a heavy sprint. I reached the point where the screams were coming from and stopped at the edge where the trail met the woods.
“Hey, are you okay down there?” I said as I tried to peer through the thick trees.
I heard a loud rustling noise and the sound of two voices talking back and forth. I began to fear that maybe a girl was being attacked and that her attacker was trying to keep her quiet.
“Is everyone all right? I heard a scream.”
I waited for a few seconds but still, no answer, only a faint rustling of leaves and branches. I reached down and picked up a branch that resembled a baseball bat and made my way down the sloped hill and to the first tree. I saw a naked man lying on top of a naked woman and knew that something wasn’t right.
“Hey! Get off her you sick prick!”
I rushed into the woods and hit the young man in the head with the branch. He tried to say something but with one swift blow, he hit the ground and a small pool of blood streamed into the dirt from the side of his head.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” said the young girl who couldn’t have been more than twenty years old. She rushed over to her attacker and kneeled down over him. She didn’t try to cover herself but instead shook the young man to wake him up.
“Johnny? Johnny, are you okay? Johnny, please answer me.”
“Ma’am, are you okay? I’m calling the police, help should be here shortly.”
“No, I’m not okay. You just hit my boyfriend in the head with a fucking log you asshole.”
“I’m sorry, I thought you were being attacked. I called out but no one answered.”
“We didn’t answer because we didn’t want you to see us back here you dumb shit.”
I wasn’t sure what to do as I didn’t know how to explain this to the police. I hung up the phone before anyone answered and looked down at my hefty branch. I walked over to the naked girl and with one quick swing, knocked her out cold.