"Hey. That's a fire!" This was Ty's contribution. He cut off Kat who was telling me no one said 'mosey' anymore including her grandfather.
"Stop the truck."
I said this calmly which meant Ty didn't listen, or if he heard me, wasn't listening fast enough. I tried again.
"STOP the Fucking TRUCK!"
That worked. I caught KAT across the chest with one arm trying to stop her from eating the dashboard while I braced myself with my other hand. The truck may have come with seat belts but they had long ago broken or been cut away except for the drivers side.
Kat yelled, "God damn!"
"Shut up. Ty listen to me. Put us in reverse and slowly move us backward about a quarter mile to the turn off we passed. Pull into it and keep your foot off the brake pedal."
I said this calmly and quietly. It got through to Ty. He was an EMT. He knew emergencies and how to react. I knew he would key in to the calmness in my voice after yelling and figure out we had a problem. He did and I was glad. My Plan B was putting a gun to his head. That would have been awkward.
Kat picked up on it to, she asked "What's going on Gardener?"
I had seen movement silhouetted by the flames. I was also pretty sure I had seen horses off to one side. My leg may be hurting and my boots were too fucking tight but I could still see and hear better than almost anyone within 700 miles.
"It's a raiding party. Who? I have no idea. From the look of those flames they should be about done. If they move this way I want to prepare a surprise for them."
I was mentally inventorying what we had against what they might have. Horses made it more complicated but still doable. If not, we let them go by and see if Grandma was still alive which I doubted.