The stones, being half covered in leaf waste and earth, did not announce the sound of horse shoes until the road rose enough to have created something of a clear spot. A moon was high, but it hid itself behind thick clouds and so the road itself ran dark as a mother's revenge. The horse, when it hit the stones, sent out a spark or two while crossing the bare spot, then the hoofbeats became muted once more as the stones sunk flush with the road for a short length. The night had a waiting sense to it at the suddenness of sparks, for steel was a man's addition to a horse but there was no lantern there to indicate a human rider.
Human rider there was, however, for as the horse came into the spilled gloom of the lantern in the middle of the road, there loomed over the speckled grey mist of the horse, a darkened form.
Just at the edge of the light, the horse was pulled up. It tossed its great head, froth spilling from its lips. Its eyes were white rimmed, lack of light by its rider was a call to any local hungry maw and the horse's survival instincts obviously had set the animal into a literal dither.
As the horse pawed at the ground in nervousness, its rider leapt from its back, held to the high pommel of the saddle and leaned heavily there.
"Even'," the voice that came from the hooded figure was dusky, androgynous and with a crackle like that of age. "May we share your light?"
So hard not to put a moose into this! *L*