HmongTales: Don’t Open the Door for Him is based on a true story from California.

My father was an avid hunter and used to leave to go hunting every chance he got frequently. He was fearless of the forest and would often make the trip alone. My mother, being light-hearted, would beg him to ask someone to go with him due to fears of something happening, and he always replied, “I have my gun to protect me.”

One day, after returning from a hunting trip, I overheard him whispering to my mother about something strange that had happened to him. He told my mother he was following two squirrels and ventured off to a part of the forest he wasn’t familiar with. He sat at the base of a tree and waited for the squirrels to come out.

After roughly 20 minutes of waiting, the forest went utterly silent. According to my father, there was no wind, no sound of birds, or anything as if the world stood still.

Then, out of the blue, he heard a long, deep scream from the treetop that sounded like a monkey in distress. He looked up at the tree and observed something big moving around but couldn’t determine what it was. Then, suddenly, the wind picked up and started blowing the leaves on the ground into the air. He immediately left the area on high alert, knowing this wasn’t normal.

After this incident, he didn’t go hunting for over a month. When he finally did, he decided to go with his friends. On the day of the trip, my mother and I had woken up early to prepare food for my father since he would be gone for a few days. When my father finished packing his gear into the truck, he told us he was leaving and would return in a few days. My mother and I waved goodbye, and he closed the garage door behind him.

After a few minutes, we could see my father’s truck leaving through the kitchen window. We both watched him turn onto the street and as soon as his taillights were out of sight, my mother told me to go back to bed.

As we started walking towards the bedrooms, we suddenly heard a loud knocking on the garage door. My mother and I both paused and stared at the door. Then suddenly, I heard my father shouting, “Open the door! Open the door for me, I’m back!” Excitedly, I looked at my mom and said, “Dad is back!” and began to walk back into the kitchen towards the door.
I remember reaching for the doorknob to unlock it but was abruptly pulled back by my mother. She angrily whispers to me, “Didn’t you see your father drive away? Why would you open the door?”

My mother quickly grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the kitchen. As we walked away, she shouted, “This isn’t your house! You’re not welcome here. Go back to where you came from!” After saying that, the shouting and knocking suddenly stopped. She then walked me to my room, told me to go to sleep right away, and told me not to mention this to anyone.

I was so scared of that incident that I didn’t tell anyone about it, not even my father. I was a kid when it happened, so I was clueless about the situation. It wasn’t until years later that I thought back and realized how stupid I was for trying to open the door when I witnessed my father driving off in his truck. To this day though, I still wonder what the hell that thing was that had my father’s voice and what would have happened if I had opened the door.

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