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The Gift Essay, Research Paper

The Gift

It happened on December 1, 1984. The Johnsons were camping at Zavonavich park which is where they go every year. Kevin, Billy, Laura, and their mom and dad were all there. They left Cody at home with the baby-sitter because he was too little to go.

Every year it?s a tradition for them to go on a night hike through the woods. They got their equipment ready and started off in about an hour. Every year they take the same trail but this year they decided to be different so they took another trail called The Hike From Hell. To the Johnsons, these trails were like haunted houses during Halloween time. They weren?t scared of anything; they just wanted to have a little fun. The Johnsons started out. At first the hike was nice and smooth but then the terrain got to be rough and crooked. An hour later they were to about the middle point of the woods. Billy and Laura were breathing real hard but everyone else was just fine. They went 10 more minutes before stopping to get some water from the canteen. Billy and Laura were wiped out. Everyone got their drink and started off again. Billy and Laura sat on the log while everyone else was leaving. Kevin, mom and dad were about ten steps ahead of Billy and Laura when Laura finally decided to catch up with everyone else. She told Billy to come but he insisted on five more minutes. He told her to go catch up with everyone and he would follow shortly. Laura trusted him so she ran up with the others to begin the hike again. They asked where Billy was and she said that he was resting for a couple minutes but he?ll catch up with us soon. Mom and Dad didn?t want to leave their son there so they stopped at the hill, about 100 feet away from Billy. They were so far up the hill that they could not see Billy so they sat down on the ground. They waited five minutes and started to worry about Billy. They sat around for another five minutes and Billy still didn?t catch up with them. Dad went down to look for him and where Billy once sat was a knife stabbed in the wood with a piece of paper. At that point, dad was terrified. He yelled up to the others to come down and they all came running down the hill as fast as possible. They saw the knife and the piece of paper. Mom picked up the paper and it read “Your son is safe with me. Complete these tasks and come up with $90,000 and he will be returned to your home on Christmas Eve, safe and sound.” Mom and Laura were crying hysterically. Laura blamed herself since she left him there on the log all alone. Mom told her that it wasn?t her fault. Dad read the rest of the note “Pack up all your stuff and leave the park for one day, come back tomorrow and you will get the list of what you have to do in order to get your son back. Trust me. Don?t try to bring any cops either.” They ran down the hill to their camp sight and packed all their stuff. They trusted that Billy would be all right but they didn?t want to make the man mad so they left in an hour. While on the way home dad called the cops on his cell-phone and told them the whole story. They went to the camp to investigate and told the Johnson?s that if anything came up they would call.

After a sleepless night it was finally time to go back to the camp. The Johnsons had to pick up their list of demands from their sons kidnapper. They arrived at the campsite where Billy was taken the day before. Before long, a masked man holding a gun met them there. The man gave a long list of demands that “had to be met to receive their son back.” One of the demands was $90,000 in cash brought back in 24 hours. The family knew that there was no way of getting that kind of money that soon. There was also the question of “what if we don?t have the money?” which weighed heavily on the minds of the Johnsons. The man told them that their son would be killed if the money wasn?t in his hands in 24 hours.

The Johnsons were just a normal family. They had no resources to find $90,000 in 24 hours. They went to their local police to ask for help. The police could not just hand over tat kind of money though. They really had no proof that their story was legitimate. The family told their story to many, but the people who believed it were family members. Even with all of their relatives pulling together, the $90,000 was unattainable. As nightfall approached, the Johnsons felt their hope deteriorating. They would not have the money to get their son back the next day.

December 3rd arrived and they went back to the camp to meet with the kidnapper, they told him of their unfortunate circumstance, but he was not very sympathetic. In fact he was quite angered. He lashed out in rage, yelling that their son should now be considered dead. He ran off, leaving with them words that would ring in their heads long after they left camp. He shouted that he would kill their son. Mom ran after the man, but dad stopped her. It was no use chasing him. He could possibly kill anyone that tried to stop him.

The Johnsons went home. They knew that all they could do now was pray and hope that the police would find something. After the police wouldn?t help them the night before, they didn?t really count on them though. They knew that it was mostly up to God now to bring their son back to them.

As days passed, their prayers became desperate. They knew that they would probably never see their son again. Family and friends began to accept that Billy was not coming home.

Christmas Eve was finally here. The Johnsons really had nothing to celebrate though. All day long reporters had been knocking on their door. Every station in the state wanted to do a story about mysterious disappearance of their boy so close to Christmas. Many wanted to know how the family was dealing with the loss. The family eventually stopped answering the door.

Around 8:00P.M. the Johnsons received a different guest. They heard sirens and saw police lights in their driveway. Two officers walked up to their front door. They really didn?t know what to expect. The Johnsons opened the door and were welcomed by the officers wonderful news. A couple hours before the officers received a tip that led then to finding their son. Billy was alive and living against his will in a secluded cabin with his kidnapper. Moments after the family heard the miraculous news, Billy jumped out of the police car and ran t his family. After so long, their Christmas miracle was finally delivered to them. This was definitely the best gift that a family could ask for on Christmas!

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