CSName: Lady Amalthea
[Note: This is the name the patient refers herself to. Real name unknown.]Age:
Unknown. Appearance of a young girl aged approximately 17. Gender:
Appears Human, allegedly Unicorn in origin. Appearance:
Amalthea arrived at the asylum completely naked, with nothing but a blue magician’s cloak to cover her pale white form – a cloak the nurses allowed her to keep, because it upset her too much to have it taken away. She is a tall, slender young girl of light build, with the body of a seventeen year old, and flawless skin that is the palest of whites. She looks and appears delicate, to the point of being fragile, physically weak and easy to damage. Long loose flowing white hair reaches down to her knees, and on her forehead she bears a strange large scar or birth mark in the shape of a star – often this is half hidden by her hair, but still clearly visible. Her eyes are big, bright and as deep as the ocean. Her eyes are violet in colour, although under certain lights this may change to deep blue or bright purple.
Currently she dresses in clothes fit for nobility; long flowing dresses in fine material, often pale lavender or grey in colour. The dresses are often long sleeved and reach down to her ankles or beyond, and are cut in a way which comes just above her bust, leaving her shoulders uncovered. The dresses are laced at the front with fine white lacing around the low-cut neck line. Wears nothing on her feet, preferring to walk barefoot. Patient refuses to wear shoes altogether, and wears no jewellery or other accessories. Personality: “Once, I can't remember,
I was, long ago, someone strange,
I was innocent and wise
And full of pain.”
When she first arrived at the asylum, Lady Amalthea was listless and constantly weeping to the point of making herself physically sick. She took every opportunity she could to harm and hurt herself, attempt to kill herself or otherwise escape, and screamed and panicked, lashing out violently when people approached her or tried to touch her. Highly emotional and highly distraught, it took a lot to calm her down.
Now on her meds, most days Amalthea is a more positive person, always trying to think optimistically. However, she is still prone to bouts of melancholy and frustration. She is a lonely person, often aloof and wary of people, but longing for company and companionship. She is a person full of regrets and longing, and yet she can’t remember what it is she is regretting and longing for. She is dreamy-eyed, pensive and quiet, often feeling empty, like she is missing something, searching and reaching out for something she can’t quite reach.
She loves to love, and is a very affectionate and kind person, once you get past her initial coldness and distant personality. She comes across as very innocent and childlike, and yet can also be very bitter, with flashes of arrogance or contempt for individuals and humanity, despite ‘being human’ herself.
Generally however, she is a calm if fragile creature, who enjoys the small, peaceful and beautiful things in life. She is a great lover of nature and animals and all things wild and free, and dreams of running barefoot though fields and dancing through forests. She also has a fondness for magic, but scoffs at games and riddles, and silly things people come up with which she sees as trivial. A very nostalgic person, what she can remember of her past, she clings onto like a leech – and will often remember the magician that had taken her in and speak of him with fondness, as with the other friends from her past. Afflictions: You lost her! You trapped her in a human body! She’ll go mad!
* Depression/Suicidal tendencies
* Claims to be ‘always dreaming’ – even when awake. Sometimes has trouble believing herself or the world around her, convinced she is in a dream she can not wake from.
* Amnesia, and Situation-specific psychogenic amnesia – patient can’t remember her past very well, does not know her real name or how old she is. Sometimes (depending on her state of mind) seems to forget whether she’s human or not. Forgetfulness and general absent-mindedness is also common with this patient. Can sometimes forget a name or a face temporarily, but often she will recall it moments later.
* Identity disorder/Dissociative personality disorder/delusional – patient unpredictably switches between two identities/states of mind…Although, often confused herself by which ‘Amalthea’ is the real one, she will often tend to remain somewhere in the middle of these two states, completely confused and upset by the idea that she does not know who she is.
In one state (currently the more ‘dominant’ personality), Amalthea sees herself as an ordinary human, and denies all suggestion that she could be or was a unicorn at any point in her life. In this state, she will either deny all existence of her ‘unicorn’ identity, or believes that it is just a part of her ailment, a part of her that she wants to be rid of/cured of.
In her other state, however, this changes completely. Amalthea claims to be a unicorn, the last unicorn in the world. She becomes convinced that she is a unicorn trapped in the body of a human girl, and claims that she must free the unicorns who she believes are trapped in the sea. She seems to become terrified and disgusted by her own human body and indeed other human beings, often resulting in severe stress and anxiety, self-harming, harming others around her and panic attacks. Patient has made several escape attempts and injured staff trying to restrain her, on the rare occasion that this personality becomes dominant. Will sometimes become so distressed that she would tear her own body to pieces if left to her own devices. When reverting back to ‘normal’ she seems to have either no recollection of the episode, or, once again, she believes she acted that way because she is ill, and that person ‘was not her’…although often she remains uncertain of herself, and may still question if that ‘other side’ to her was true or not.
Sometimes she may display animal-like traits, such as crawling on her hands and knees, moving like an animal or horse would, and whinnying, all of which she seems to do subconsciously when it does occur.
* Pyrophobia – fear of fire.
* Is both fascinated and terrified of the sea, to an unhealthy degree. If near the sea, she will stand and look at it for hours on end. If the sea is not visible, she will then stand and stare in whichever direction she believes the sea to be in, as if she can see it.
*Nightmares and nightmarish visions/hallucinations/flashbacks – these are frequent, often involving things from her alleged past - the Red Bull and/or unicorns, people she has met or events that had supposedly happened to her, sometimes her lost love, Lír.
* Schizophrenia – Added to the hallucinations, and delusions over her identity and purpose, Amalthea interacts with characters only she can see/hear. Often when it appears she is talking with herself, she is actually talking to one of these beings. These are usually characters she supposedly met during her earlier travels/adventures.
The Silly ButterflyFairy Tale: “The Last Unicorn”When the last eagle flies, over the last crumbling mountain,
A talking blue and purple male butterfly dressed in blue and purple clothes, and donning a hat, white scarf and goggles, often changing into different types of hat and glasses/goggles depending on what the butterfly is talking about. The Butterfly is for the most part harmless, animatedly spouting nonsensical phrases and references, much to Amalthea’s chagrin. She often seeks out its advice and counsel, and occasionally somewhere in his ramblings, the butterfly will help her, although rarely will he give her any useful information.
The old Sea Cat
An old talking cat with the characteristics of a pirate. Has long-haired black and white fur, with a bushy tail and white fur under the chin like a beard. Has one yellow eye, the other eye covered by a red eye patch, and one of it’s front legs is missing, replaced instead with a miniature wooden peg leg. Also has a large silver loop earring in the ear on the opposite side from the eye patch. Speaks like a pirate too, and seems rather androgynous, although is most likely male.
Although the cat is as friendly towards Amalthea as the butterfly, the cat is more likely to talk sense. Although like the butterfly, it has been known to speak in riddles, and rarely gives an entirely straight answer. The cat can steer Amalthea in one direction or another, and encourage her to take actions she might not have taken otherwise. However, for the most part it (so far) seems to be harmless. The danger is that the cat seems to favour the idea of the Lady Amalthea being a unicorn, rather than a human, and will encourage her to think of herself in that way – however, the cat tends to be quite down to earth and affectionate, and will not intentionally try to upset the girl.
The Laughing Skull
This character is rarely seen, but it does exist, and Amalthea hates it. It is merely a drunk skeleton, with a small spiked metal crown upon it’s head. It can’t stand up straight, and often stays in one place, lazily lying sprawled on a surface somewhere and drinking from a wine bottle or glass. Although not entirely malevolent in nature, it is a pest and a menace. It is self-centered and cares only for drinks and entertainment. Often it will laugh, mock and ridicule Amalthea, rarely taking anything seriously. The skull tends to be quite foolish and dim-witted, but can demonstrate intelligence at times. The skull also seems to be subject to amnesia upon most visits, often forgetting he’s met Amalthea before…which is just as well. When the skull thinks he remembers who she is, he suddenly turns malevolent. Its eye sockets glow red, and it screams at Amalthea, accusing her of being a unicorn. Often this will affect Lady Amalthea greatly and sometimes set her off, reacting violently as a result of the Skull’s curses, threats, and accusations.
And the last lion roars, at the last dusty fountain,
In the shadow of the forest, though she may be old and worn;
They will stare unbelieving, at the last unicorn.
When the first breath of winter, through the flowers is icing,
And you look to the north, and a pale moon is rising,
And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn;
In the distance hear the laughter, of the last unicorn:
“I'm alive! I'm alive…!”
When the last moon is cast, over the last star of morning,
And the future has passed, without even a last, desperate warning,
Then look into the sky where through, the clouds a path is torn;
Look and see her how she sparkles, it's the last unicorn…
“I'm alive! I'm alive…!”
According to Schmendrick the magician (that had brought her in)*, and the patient herself, the Lady Amalthea was once an immortal unicorn that lived in her own enchanted forest, and the last of her kind. The Unicorn, concerned with the idea that she could be the last Unicorn in existence, set out on a quest to find out what had happened to the rest of her kin. She first encountered a talking butterfly, who spoke in nonsense, riddles and songs to her. The butterfly told her that the unicorns had been chased away to a far away land by a fearsome creature known as the Red Bull…a monstrous fire elemental with the horns of an Ox. Fearing for the other unicorns, the last Unicorn decided to leave the comfort and safety of her forest to find out where the Red Bull had taken them.
The unicorn journeyed far and wide in search of her people, through all weathers and all seasons. She did not have to fear being hunted, for any human seeing a unicorn would, in their narrow-mindedness not realise she was a unicorn, and see only a white mare. Only those who searched for unicorns or believed in them enough would see her for what she truly was. Among the many things and people she encountered, two people joined her on her quest: a bumbling incompetent magician called Schmendrick, and a bandit’s wife, Molly Grue.
As the trio began to near the seaside castle of King Haggard, supposed keeper of the Red Bull, they were attacked by the bull. The Unicorn ran, but was unable to escape. In an effort to aid her, Schmendrick unwittingly turned the Unicorn into a young human female. Confused by the change, the Red Bull gave up the pursuit and disappeared.
In this new human form, it meant the Unicorn could keep her real identity secret from King Haggard and the Red Bull. Taking on the name of ‘Lady Amalthea’, the unicorn-turned-human was accepted into King Haggard’s castle, along with her two friends. Serving Haggard in his court, whilst trying to find out where the other unicorns were kept. During their stay there, Haggard’s adoptive son, Prince Lír, tried to win the affections of the Lady Amalthea, and eventually the two fell in love with each other.
King Haggard eventually revealed to Amalthea that the unicorns were trapped in the sea for his own amusement, because the unicorns are the only things that made him happy. He then openly accused Amalthea of coming to his kingdom to save the unicorns, saying that he knew who she really was. However, Amalthea had seemingly forgotten about her true nature and her desire to save the other unicorns. It seemed her human form had made her forget her true identity. For when Schmendrick and Molly finally found the secret passage that would lead them to the Red Bull, Lady Amalthea wanted nothing more than to marry Prince Lír and live Happily Ever After, forgetting all about the unicorns for the sake of mortal love.
However, Lady Amalthea never found her happy ending. Whilst in the Red Bull’s Lair, she struggled with the decision to abandon her quest and stay with Lír, or to rescue the unicorns and never love again (for unicorns know nothing of mortal love or regret). But the Red Bull found her and, no longer deceived by Amalthea’s human form, chased after her. In an attempt to assist her escape, Schmendrick managed to finally turn Amalthea back into the Unicorn, but she was unwilling to leave Lír's side. The Bull drove her toward the ocean, just as he earlier drove all the other unicorns, but she managed to run away and the bull gave chase once more. Trying to save Amalthea, Lír got between them and blocked the bull's path…however, it came at a cost. Prince Lír was killed.
Overcome with fear and grief, and remembering what it was like in her human form to love, the last unicorn fled, and as she struggled with her emotions and who she was, her unicorn form reverted back to Lady Amalthea once more.
When Schmendrick the magician managed to find her again, Amalthea was in a terrible state. She did not know herself anymore, and she had lost all she had loved.
With a heavy heart, Schmendrick realised he could not change her permanently back into a unicorn whilst Amalthea did not know if that was her true form. However, he managed to prevent her from committing suicide, wrapped her up in his cloak and left her in the care of the Everafter asylum, hoping that they could do something for her.
*Account may or may not be true. It could be possible that the magician that brought her in was falsely delusional with the idea of the patient being so called ‘unicorn’. Arguably the patient does display some traits which would back up this story; however there is no solid evidence to prove this account is completely correct, nor indeed true. None of the other characters mentioned have been able to be located/willing to confirm the story, however King Haggard’s castle does exist. Nurse’s Notes:
- Clearance: All Nursing Staff.
- Maximum of 2 people in her cell at any one time. Must not crowd her.
- Dietary requirements: Vegetarian. Do not give her any meat or dead animal; it upsets her.
- Let the patient keep the magician’s cloak she has with her. Do not remove it from her, not even to wash it.
- Patient may need reminders or assistance with clothing herself. Patient has a habit of walking around completely naked if not prompted to dress herself.
- Tact is advised when the patient asks about anything relating to her identity or her past. If unsure of the correct response, avoid answering and divert her attention to something else.
- Keep methods of restraint on hand at all times, but only use it as a last resort. Being restrained causes patient great levels of stress, sometimes only worsening her condition. Forms of restraint should only be administered if there are no other alternatives to subduing the patient. Giving comfort to the patient through words or gentle actions is on average effective enough.
- Nurses must be vigilant at all times when handling this patient. If patient shows any of the following symptoms, sedate her.
* Eyes appear so deep that you can not see your reflection in them, and instead see ‘something else’ behind them. Theme Song: “The Last Unicorn”
*Severe headaches, sensitivity around the mark on her forehead, patient constantly touching it.
*High levels of distress to the extent that it is deemed the patient is a danger to herself or others.
*If patient shows any indication that she is convinced she is a unicorn. Often will scream words to the effect of ‘I am a unicorn’, although this is not a consistent trait. Nurses should use their better judgement as to whether her conviction of being a unicorn is great enough for need of supplementary medication. Uncertainty over whether she is a unicorn or not poses little threat, but nurses must remain vigilant in case this turns into certainty.
And“Now That I’m A Woman”
- ‘The Last Unicorn’ is in reference to the book, the film and the song all sharing the same name.
- Changes were made to the ‘ending’ of the fairy tale, if only to make it less of a happy ending, and explain Lady Amalthea’s condition.