She was foretold. Sages and soothsayers appeared by her crib when she was born. Soon the prophecy would come to pass.
Mara trained for battle all through her childhood and spent her teen years learning magic. She would be the one to conquer the coming evil army and bring a thousand years of harmony and love to her people.
When she turned twenty, she began to doubt herself. So did some of the other villagers. The sagas rarely celebrated one so old, but the sages and the soothsayers were sure it was her.
By the time she turned thirty, she’d mastered the blade, the arrow, the axe, and every spell she’d ever heard of. Still, the time was not yet for her gifts.
The last of the sages died before she turned forty, and the last soothsayer when she turned forty-one. They went to their graves swearing she was the one foretold.
Mara never married and she never bore children, but as the years slowly ticked by, she loved and nurtured her people. She taught the children, she read to the blind, and she comforted the widows. Love was her greatest gift.
She lived sixty-eight happy loving years before the time came. The enemy army that was foretold came marching over the hill with murder in their hearts.
This was it, her time had come!
Mara ordered her people to hide in their cellars and wait until she gave the signal. Alone, she set out to meet them, her weapons strapped to her aged frame.
“We come to make war and they send a grandmother to fight us?” The enemy leader barked. His laugh was joyless and hollow.
Mara smiled and drew her sword. Her foe threw his head back and howled with laughter. She saw her opening.
Quick as a flash of lightening, she lunged, plunging her sword into his chest. He fell and the sword sunk deeper. Mara gave him a gentle kick before she pressed her shoe into his dead flesh beside the blade. She needed leverage to get her sword out.
“Well?” she asked. “I though you came to make war!”
A large man resembling an ox stepped forward and raised his sword menacingly. The old woman smiled and tossed her sword from her right hand to her left and snapped her fingers.
A bolt of green fire spiraled down from the heavens, striking him dead where he stood.
In answer, the army turned and fled. They wiped the village form their maps and vowed never to return.
Mara whistled and old tune from her youth and sat down to wait. After a while, two boys driving a cart pulled up beside her.
“Thank you, Hamish, Evan.” They helped her to her feet and into the back of the cart where she curled up on the soft hay. “I don’t know if I have strength enough to make it back.”
The boys drove toward the village as Mara drifted off to her eternal sleep. Peace bloomed among her people for a thousand years.