Fantasy Island

Ultra Girl

All Fantasy Island characters are the property of Aaron Spelling, Sony Tri-Star and TPTB. Any other copyrighted characters are the property of their respective TPTB. We're only borrowing them for a while. We'll give them back when we're done ... Maybe. Anyone else belongs to us and can be used only with our permission.

0-0-0-0-0-0

All Fantasy Island characters are the property of Aaron Spelld its message to the Islanders that another fantasy was about to begin.

Roarke, the enigmatic leader of the Island, was waiting on the porch when he came down. He greeted his assistant warmly and started down the steps. Suddenly, heel of his shoe caught on a loose board in the top step and he went tumbling down the stairs. Except for the dirt and stains on his white suit, he seemed to be all right. He tried to stand but went crashing back to the ground. He sat on the walk holding his right leg.

"Tatoo! I thought I told you to have these stairs repaired." Roarke said with a mieven imagine being anywhere else. He pulled on the bell rope with a little extra gusto. "The Plane! The Plane!" He shouted as the large bell pealed its message to the Islanders that another fantasy was about to begin.

Roarke, the enigmatic leader of the Island, was waiting on the porch when he came down. He greeted his assistant warmly and started down the steps. Suddenly, heel of his shoe caught on a loose board in the top step and he went tumbling down the stairs. Except for the dirt and stains on his white suit, he seemed to be all right. He tried to stand but went crashing back to the ground. He sat on the walk holding his right leg.

"Tatoo! I thought I told you to have these stairs repaired." Roarke said with a mix of anger and pain in his voice.

"I put in a work order for it three days ago, Boss, but the repair crew is still working on the damage from the warehouse fire last month, and they haven't been able to get to it yet. I'll put in another order right away. Are you all right?"

"No. I am not all right. I think my ankle is broken."

"Oh no! Oh dear! Oh my! Oh my!" Tatoo said running, literally, in circles. "I had better get a stretcher! And some bandages! And some aspirin! You should see a doctor! I know! I'll take you to the hospital! Better yet, where can I find an ambulance! And maybe I should get some … "

"Why don't you just call 911?"

"Good idea, Boss. Now then, where is the telephone?"

"Where it has always been. On the desk in my office." Roarke sighed.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Roarke sat on the examining table at the hospital. An icepack was wrapped around his right foot. Even so, it was evident that it was severely swollen and several purple-green bruises were very visible. On the wall hung an x-ray of his ankle.

"Well, Mr. Roarke." The doctor said. "You're in luck. According to this x-ray, there are no serious injuries. You do have a hairline fracture of your ankle, though. The technician will be here in a few minutes to put a cast on your leg. I'm using fiberglass. That means it should be dry enough to walk on in about fifteen minutes."

Roarke checked his watch. "Excellent. In that case, if we hurry, we can still make it to the dock in time to greet the plane."

The doctor shook his head no. "Not on that leg you don't. You may have the final say on the Island, but when it comes to medical decisions, I have the last word. And that word is that I want you to stay off your feet for at least 24 hours. Period. End of sentence. Not negotiable. I know you too well, Roarke. You make a lousy patient. I'm going to have Nurse Baker drive you straight to the Main House and I want you to stay there until tomorrow. No unnecessary movement. If necessary, I'll order you hog tied to a chair. Is that understood?"

Reluctantly, Roarke nodded his head in agreement. "But what about the plane and my guests?"

"I can meet the plane, Boss." Tatoo said. "Just give me the list of all the guests and their fantasies and I'll take it from there."

Roarke stared at his throbbing ankle for a few seconds, and then reached into his pocket. He handed small notebook to his diminutive assistant.

"Our first guest is Miss Connie Drinkwater." He explained. "She is a librarian from East McKeesport Pennsylvania. Like so many of today's young people, she is extremely frustrated by the lack of reliable leadership and positive role models in today's society. She is a comic book fan and has frequently turned to them for her heroes."

"You mean like Spiderman and Wonder Woman?"

"Exactly. That is why she is here. For her fantasy, Miss Drinkwater wants to be a super hero."

0-0-0-0-0-0

Tatoo had no trouble recognizing Connie Drinkwater. She looked exactly as he expected a librarian to look. She was about 22 years old and was 5 feet 8 inches tall with a trim figure. Most of it though, was hidden under a loose white blouse over a nondescript gray tweed skirt and topped with a matching jacket. She wore sensible flat black shoes. Her blond-brown hair was pulled straight back and secured at the nape of her neck with a gold colored barrette. She had black rimmed glasses with thick lenses and she wore no makeup except for a light pink lipstick. Or it could have been lip balm. It was hard to tell. She seemed to be awed and a little lost by the splendor of Fantasy Island.

Tatoo accepted the beverage glass offered to him by the hostess. All of the guests had one, too. He held the beverage high in front of him. "My dear guests." He said in his best imitation of Roarke. "Welcome to Fantasy Island. I am Mr. Tatoo. Your host." Almost inaudibly, he added. "Temporarily."

0-0-0-0-0-0

Tatoo showed Connie Drinkwater into Roarke's office. Except for the fact that she was now wearing a tan warm up suit, everything else was basically the same as it was on the dock. She seemed almost reluctant to come any further than the door.

Roarke sat behind his desk and extended his hand across the top. "Please excuse me for not rising, but I had a slight accident earlier today." He glared at Tatoo, who tried to shrink even smaller than he was.

"I hope it wasn't anything too serious." Connie said as she hesitantly took his hand.

"A hairline fracture of my ankle. The doctor says everything should be healed in about six weeks or so." Another glare at Tatoo. The little man seemed to be shriveling by the minute.

"So, Miss Drinkwater. You want to be a super hero. Is that correct?" Roarke asked.

"Yes. I do. I know that sounds rather childish for someone in my position, but they lead such glamorous lives when compared to mine. They fight crime. They battle the forces of nature. They help people in need. The most exciting thing I do in my job is … " She thought for a moment. " … Come to think of it, there's nothing really exciting about my job. That's why I like to read about super heroes and imagine that I am one of them." Her face brightened. "I did save a little dog from being hit by a car once. That was pretty exciting."

Roarke smiled softly. "It is not a childish pipe dream to want some adventure in your life. And I can see why you would want to emulate your heroes. They do lead thrilling lives."

"Then you are going to fulfill my fantasy?" Her face lit up.

"Of course. I would not have brought you to Fantasy Island if I were not going to do as you wanted." He reached into the drawer of his desk and took out a small wooden chest. He opened the lid. Inside were two vials of a purplish liquid. "I am certain you know who the Amazons were." He asked.

"Of course I do. They were a supposed race of super women. But if I remember my myths and legends literature correctly, they were just that. Legends. Myths. Pure fiction."

"Are you certain of that?" He said with a twinkle in his eyes. "I have it on excellent authority that they were very real. And, according to the same source, they derived their powers from a potion very similar to this." He held up one of the vials. "I have managed to obtain a small sample of that very same potion. It is in these vials." He handed the box to Connie.

"Does it work?"

"Why don't you try it and find out."

She uncapped one of the vials and stared at it for a few seconds. "As the saying goes, Over the lips and past the gums … " She downed the contents of the vial in one swallow. It was sticky and sweet with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Suddenly, she felt a tingling sensation go thorough her body, as though she had received a mild electric shock. She felt lightheaded and ever so slightly nauseous. She grabbed the edge of the desk to steady herself as the room began to spin. Slowly, everything began to return to normal. More or less.

"That stuff could knock your socks off." She exclaimed. She shook her head to clear it, but even after the spinning had stopped, everything seemed to be out of focus. She took off her glasses and pinched her eyes shut. When she opened them, she was amazed. For the first time since she was a small child, she could see perfectly without them.

Tatoo handed her a fireplace poker. "Here. Try out your new powers. See if you can bend this." He said.

She gripped both ends of the poker. "This is ridiculous. If I try to bend this, all I'll end up with is … " Effortlessly, she brought her hands together. There was the sound of tortured metal as the poker formed a horseshoe. " … Is a bent poker! The potion worked! I really do have super powers!" She cried as she unzipped the warm up suit. Underneath, she was wearing golden boots, blue tights with red shorts and a matching blue top. On the front of the shirt was a golden 'U' with a lightning bolt through it. "I designed and made it myself. In my daydreams, I call myself Ultra Girl." She pulled the warm up suit back on. "I can't wait. When does my fantasy begin?"

"It already has." Roarke said. "I must warn you, though. The effects of the potion will wear off in exactly 24 hours. If you wish to renew your super powers, you must drink the second vial. If you do not, all your powers will be gone."

Tatoo showed Connie to the front door. Several minutes later, he returned carrying a tray with a glass of milk and a plate of cookies on it. He set them down in front of Roarke. "Eat it all, Boss. Mrs. Haskins made those cookies especially for you. They're your favorite. Chocolate chip. Don't forget the milk. Milk is very good for you. It builds strong bones."

"And good sound teeth. Don't forget that." Roarke added as he took a bite of a cookie and a sip of milk.

"Finish it all, Boss." Tatoo said as he pushed a footstool to Roarke and gently propped his injured leg on it. "Is that any better? Would you like it a little higher?" He took a pillow off the couch and brought it to the stool. "Here. Let me put this under your leg."

"That is perfect just as it is." Roarke waved him away.

"Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"As a matter of fact, there is. I want you to go and check on Mr. Thomas. See how his fantasy is coming along. If you recall, His fantasy is to go on a mission to outer space. He is already on the launch pad and he should be ready to blast off any minute now."

"Right away, Boss. When I'm through there, I can stop at the store on my way back. Is there anything you'd like me to bring you? Some fresh fruit? Some candy? What about those little licorice things you like so much? A magazine? Maybe a ... "

"Just see to Mr. Thomas."

Tatoo started for the door. He picked up the bent poker that Connie Drinkwater had dropped. "I know! I'll build you a nice cozy fire!"

"Tatoo. It is nearly eighty degrees outside. The air conditioner is on. The last thing I need is a fire."

"You're right, Boss. I didn't think about that."

"Tatoo. Please. Mr. Thomas."

"I'm leaving right now." Tatoo went out the door. Seconds later, he was back. "Maybe I could … "

Roarke pointed his arm at the door forcefully. "TATOO!" He said sternly.

"I just left, Boss."

Outside, Roarke could hear the sounds of hammers and saws as the workmen repaired the porch steps.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Connie Drinkwater walked past the swimming pool on her way back to her bungalow. She heard screams and the sounds of a scuffle coming from the other side of the high wall surrounding the pool. With no apparent effort, she pulled herself to the top of the wall. She could see two rough looking musclemen dragging a young woman toward the water at the deep end of the pool.

"Please!" The woman begged. "Don't do this. I can't swim."

"Then it's about time you learned, Sugar." One of the men said to her as he dragged her closer to the edge.

Connie lowered herself back down to the ground and unzipped her warm up suit. From the jacket pocket, she took a mask and cape that matched her costume. She quickly pulled them on. She easily jumped the fence. "I don't think the lady appreciates your attention." She spread her feet and put her fists on her hips just as she had seen many of the heroes do. "Why don't you two just leave her alone?"

"Why don't you just mind your own business?" One of the bullies said as they both came toward her.

"I said butt out!" She reached out and grabbed their wrists and pulled hard. She heard a smacking sound as the toughs collided with the wall behind her. Seconds later, both of the ruffians were lying dazed in the flower bed at the foot of the wall. Almost as one, both of them got up and ran quickly away from the pool area.

"I … I don't know how to thank you, Miss … Miss … " The woman stammered.

"Ultra Girl. The name is Ultra Girl." Connie said. It had a nice ring to it. "And there's no need to thank me. That's what I'm here for." She said as she gracefully leapt back over the wall.

Seconds later, Connie Drinkwater came in the pool area. The police had been summoned, and the woman she had saved was giving them a glowing account of Ultra Girl's exploits. Connie smiled broadly. This was probably a set-up of Mr. Roarke's, but it still felt good. It felt right.

0-0-0-0-0-0

It was too nice an evening to spend indoors, and Connie was still riding the adrenaline high from defeating the muggers. So what if Roarke planned it. It was still a good thing to help someone out of trouble.

She decided to take a walk up the Coast Road rather than return to her cottage. She had been walking for about a mile when she heard a rumbling noise coming from a small canyon.

She quickly ran to the sound and discovered an earthen dam with a large crack in it. Water was rushing through the break at a frightening speed. In the valley below the dam, several hikers had set up camp for the night. If the dam gave way, they would surely be drowned. With a speed that astounded her, she scooped up armful after armful of dirt and rocks and packed them firmly into the breach. At last the crack was plugged and the water stopped flowing.

She dove into the lake behind the dam to wash the dirt and mud off her costume. She was amazed to find that only a few seconds after she emerged from the water, her costume and hair were completely dry.

She looked to the valley. Several of the hikers were scrambling up the hill. By the time they reached the top, Ultra Girl was gone and Connie Drinkwater was waiting for them.

"Did you see her?"

"Wasn't she wonderful?"

"Where did she go?"

Connie only shrugged her shoulders and continued her walk.

0-0-0-0-0-0

She had reached the far end of the island and the road began a steep climb to the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Far below, wave after wave crashed violently against the huge rocks that lined the base of the cliff. She heard the sound of squealing tires and looked up just in time to see a car careening toward her. It had to be at least a half mile away, but she could see it clearly. A light blue sedan with the license plates 3QY7G8.

She ducked into some bushes and a few seconds later, Ultra Girl was running alongside the car. She grabbed the trunk and her hands ripped through the lid like it was made of cardboard. She braced herself and pulled with all her might. Slowly the car came to a halt. When it finally stopped, the front of the car was resting on the edge of the cliff. Behind her were twin gouges in the asphalt where her heels had dug into the road.

An elderly lady got out, obviously badly shaken by the incident. "My ... My brakes went out just as I started down the hill. You saved my life." She reached into her purse and took out her wallet. "I'd like to give you something for your efforts."

Ultra Girl held up her hand. "The fact that you are alive and well is reward enough for me." She knew that super heroes rarely accepted payment for their actions. She was a super hero. She was going to follow their lead.

"But I insist." The lady argued.

"If you feel you must give a reward, give the money to a local charity in the name of Ultra Girl. I'm sure they can put it to much better use than I could."

A crowd was beginning to gather. She recognized several of the persons from the pool and two of the guys had been at the dam as well. It was time for Ultra Girl to make her exit. Connie knew from reading enough comic books that the last thing Ultra Girl needed was a bunch of groupies following her every move.

She went back into the bushes and removed her mask and cape and pulled on the warm up suit. As she was starting toward the road, an arm snaked around her neck. At the same time, someone pressed a cloth over her nose and mouth. There was the sickly sweet smell of either chloroform or ether. It really didn't matter which one it was, because the results were the same. Everything took on a greenish gray cast and reality began to spin out of control. Then everything dissolved to black.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Slowly things started to come into focus. She was lying on a couch in what appeared to be a living room. Four men and a woman were with her. One of the men was leaning over her, holding a wet cloth to her forehead. "Wake up. Please wake up." He said softly.

She reached for him and threw him to the floor. She was instantly on her feet, crouched in a karate defense position. She had studied every book on the martial arts she could find in the library. You never know when knowledge like that would be needed.

A young Black Man backed away and held up his hands. "Please. There's no need to get hostile." He said. " We aren't going to hurt you. I promise. In fact, we want to help you."

The young man she had thrown to the floor got up and brushed himself off. "More precisely, we want you to help us." He said.

"Me?" Connie said with as much innocence as she could muster. "But I'm only an unassuming librarian."

"Who just happens to be the new super hero that the whole island is talking about." A young Oriental said.

"We've been following you since you left the Main House." The fourth man said. "We know all about you."

"Since we know who you are, it's only fair that you know who we are." The first man said. "My name is David Weiss." He pointed to the Black Man. "That is Leroy Jackson. The others are Eddie Wong and Tony Nunzio. The lady is Nini Moskowicz."

"We all live on Howard Street." Tony Nunzio continued. "That's where you are now. This is my apartment."

"At one time this neighborhood was a great place to live and work." Eddie Wong said. "But that was before the Black Leather Jacket Gang moved in six months ago. Their business is protection. You know the scam. We pay them an exorbitant amount of money each week, and they protect us from muggers, robbers and vandals. The only problem is, they are the ones who are doing the mugging, robbing, and vandalizing."

"Some of the merchants and residents refused to pay. They found out the hard way that it was not a good idea to refuse the Black Leather Jacket Gang." David Weiss added. "Now if you walk through the area, you'll see a lot of the stores and houses closed and boarded up. Several of them have been burned down. There was a major warehouse fire here last month. Although they can't prove it, everybody knows it was arson and that the Black Leather Jacket Gang set it. Now, it's almost like a ghost town."

"Why didn't you go to the police or to Mr. Roarke?" Connie asked.

"My father tried to do that." Nini replied. "He wound up with four broken ribs and a concussion. He was laid up for three weeks. He still gets migraine headaches from it. The Black Leather Jacket Gang claimed he ran into a wall."

"Yeah." Leroy Jackson added. "He ran into a wall all right. A wall of fists. Theirs."

"We've tried talking to the homeowners and shopkeepers, but they're afraid that the same thing will happen to them, or to one of us." Tony said.

Connie thought for a few moments. She had the distinct impression that this was not one of Mr. Roarke's setups. This was for real. She took a deep breath. ( You wanted to be a super hero, didn't you? )She told herself. ( This is your big chance. )"And I suppose you want me to get rid of them for you?"

All five of them shook their heads yes.

Connie sighed. " Well, that's what super heroes are for." I guess.

David looked at his watch. "In a few minutes, one of the members of the Black Leather Jacket Gang will be at my uncle's delicatessen to collect the weekly payment. We might as well start there."

0-0-0-0-0-0

Ultra Girl and the others waited in the back room of the Weiss Delicatessen as Abraham Weiss paced fretfully behind the counter. "It'll never work." He said nervously. "We'll all be killed. I can feel it in my bones."

"Relax, Unc. Everything's going to be fine." David said. "I've seen Ultra Girl in action. There's nothing she can't do. This'll be a piece of cake for her."

( Thanks for the vote of confidence. )She thought sarcastically. ( I really needed that. I just hope I can live up to your expectations. )

Just then, the little bell above the door to the deli rang, and one of the Black Leather Jacket Gang came into the shop. He was the biggest, baddest, meanest, man Connie had ever seen. If the other members of the gang were like this, no wonder everybody was scared.

He pounded his fist on the counter. "I come for the money." He demanded.

Timidly, Abraham opened the cash register. But before he could get the money out, Ultra Girl stepped out of the back room and stood in front of him.

"There will be no more payments. Not from Abraham Weiss or from anyone else." She said with more bravado than she felt. "I am officially notifying you that the protection racket on Howard Street is hereby closed down."

"Sez who?" The thug started for her. Just as he reached her, she grabbed his outstretched arms and fell backward, at the same time planting her left foot in his abdomen. Just as the books on Judo that she had read in the library said to do. Just as the books foretold, the bully ascribed an arc through the air and landed with a loud thud on the deli floor. Before he could get up though, she had lifted him over her head. He weighed easily over 250 pounds, but as far as she was concerned, she could have been holding a doll. She spun him around a few times, and as David held the deli door open, she threw him unceremoniously into the street.

"You can tell your leader to leave Howard Street alone. And to get out of town! Now! And not to come back! Ever!"

"We don't need your protection." Abraham Weiss added. "We got Ultra Girl."

The thug pointed his finger at them. "We'll all be back tomorrow at noon sharp. You better have the money by then. And just for this, the amount will be double." He looked directly at Ultra Girl. "You better be here too."

"I wouldn't miss it for anything." Ultra Girl said with a wide grin. Putting on her meanest look, she made a lunge for the ruffian. The brute took off down the street at a full run. ( This super hero stuff could get to be fun. )She grinned.

"I'm going to call an emergency meeting of the Neighborhood Council tonight at nine o'clock." Abraham said. "I want you to be there." He turned around. Ultra Girl was gone.

A few minutes later, Connie Drinkwater entered the delicatessen. By that time, David and the others had left and the place was filling up with customers and other merchants. Abraham Weiss was busy giving them a detailed description of what had happened. Of course, he was not above embellishing the account considerably. According to him, Ultra Girl was a cross between Super Girl and Wonder Woman. With a little Xena Warrior Princess thrown in for good luck.

No one seemed to notice Connie. She cleared her throat a few times. Still no one noticed her. "Oh well." She said philosophically as she left the shop. "I guess that's why super heroes have secret identities. To avoid being recognized."

0-0-0-0-0-0

The Council meeting was held in one of the private party rooms at La Casa Italiano, the restaurant owned and operated by Maria and Guido Nunzio, Tony's parents. The youths and their parents, as well as most of the residents of Howard Street were there. Including the parish priest, Father Dominic and Mrs. Periwinkle. She was nearly eighty five and the neighborhood matriarch.

As Ultra Girl walked in, there was a lively discussion going on, or more accurately, an argument in progress.

"This neighborhood was a good place until we started letting the foreigners move in." One man was saying.

Jeroz Moskowicz stood up. "You watch who you call foreigner. I citizen now. Been citizen for many years. Back in Bosnia, I best fighter in village. It is Catholic fault. Every Sunday, Father Dominic, he say love your enemies. Turn other cheek."

"I never said that you had to let yourselves be walked on." Father Dominic answered. "Besides, It's Mr. Weiss who is always the first one to have his payment ready."

Abraham Weiss rolled up his sleeve. Tattooed on his forearm were a series of numbers. "I have learned a long time ago that the best way to stay alive is not to fight back."

Another man glared at Cliff Jackson. "You blacks are supposed to be so good with knives and razors, how come you ain't took these goons on."

Angrily, the elder Jackson started to rise, but Leroy forced him back into his seat.

Ultra Girl pursed her lips and gave out a loud shrill whistle. "Hold it!" She shouted. "You can bicker over who is to blame for what happened from now until all of you are blue in the face, but when you are through, the Black Leather Jacket Gang will still be here. Don't you see? This is exactly what they want you to be doing? As long as you are fighting among yourselves, you don't have the time or energy to fight them."

Guido Nunzio stood up. "According to my Anthony, that is what they brought you here to do. Fight the Black Leather Jacket Gang."

"I can help, but I can't do it all by myself. I can't be everywhere at the same time, and I'm not going to be here very long. I'll fight them tomorrow, but after that, it's going to be up to you to keep them out. Sooner or later, you are all going to have to stand up on your hind legs and start acting like men."

"That's the spirit, girlie!" Mrs. Periwinkle yelled. "Tell it like it is!" She grabbed Ultra Girl's hands with hers. "I'm with you all the way. What about the rest of you? Are you mice or men?"

"Men." Abraham Weiss put his hands on top of Mrs. Periwinkle's. "I'll help you, too."

Slowly, the rest of the residents of Howard Street placed their hands on top of the growing mound of hands.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Connie Drinkwater woke up in her bungalow and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. After she showered, she put on her costume. Suddenly she felt strange, as though all her strength were draining from her. At the same time, the world was becoming fuzzy around the edges. She grabbed her glasses and looked at the clock in the living room of her cottage. It was 23 hours since she had drank the first vial of the potion. It was time for the second dose. She reached into the pocket of her warm up suit for the other vial. It was not there! She searched through her other clothes and emptied all her drawers. Even her suitcase. No vial!

Frantically, she ran back to Howard Street. She must have dropped it when she changed back to Connie yesterday. By the time she reached the alley behind the deli, she was nearly exhausted and gasping for breath. That had been an easy jog when she returned to her cottage the night before.

She frenziedly searched every inch of the alley and even dumped out all the trashcans looking for the elusive vial. She was on her knees sifting through the dirt when she came across two feet. On one foot was a white sock and a white shoe. The other was encased in a white fiberglass cast. Mr. Roarke was standing in front of her, leaning heavily on a pair of crutches.

"Oh! Mr. Roarke! Am I ever glad to see you!" She cried, standing up. She almost hugged him and then she remembered his injury "You've got to help me! I lost the other vial and I can't find it anywhere. You have to get me some more of that potion. You have to hurry. The 24 hours are almost up!"

"I regret that I cannot do that, Miss Drinkwater." He said with a slight Hispanic accent. "As I told you yesterday, I had only a very limited supply of the potion. Those two vials were all that there was. Perhaps I could procure another vial somewhere, but I cannot guarantee that. Even so, it could possibly take up to several weeks to find one and get it to Fantasy Island."

"You don't understand, Mr. Roarke! I haven't got several weeks! I need it NOW! In a little over an hour, the street out there is going to be filled with the meanest men in town. They are going to have only one thing on their minds. Dismantling me. Little piece by little piece. When they're through with me, they're going to go after the merchants and residents. Then they're going to tear Howard Street apart. I've GOT to have more of that potion otherwise I'm dead. Literally."

"I'm sorry, Miss Drinkwater, but there's nothing I can do. I'm afraid this means that your fantasy has come to an end."

"It can't be over. I promised these people I'd help them. I can't go back on my word. Are you positive there's nothing you can do?" She turned to Roarke. There was no one in the alley but herself.

0-0-0-0-0-0

" ... And that's the whole story." Connie paced back and forth in Tony Nunzio's living room. "It was all a fantasy. Without that second vial, I'm not strong enough to punch my way out of a paper bag, let alone take on the Black Leather Jacket Gang. After all, what's a super hero without super powers?" Suddenly her eyes grew wide. "Then again, there are quite a few super heroes who don't have any special powers."

"Yeah!" Leroy Jackson said. "Like Batman and Robin!"

"And the Green Hornet." Nini Moskowicz added.

"And the Lone Ranger." Eddie Wong chimed in.

"The Lone Ranger?" David asked. "He's not a super hero."

"Close enough?" Eddie said sheepishly.

"You've got a plan cooking, Connie." Nini said. "I can see the wheels turning even from here."

"Not a plan exactly. Just an idea. We'll have to play it by ear and improvise a lot. I'll need your help and the help of all the people on Howard Street, but I think we can pull it off. Here's what I have in mind ... "

0-0-0-0-0-0

Ultra Girl stood in the middle of a deserted looking Howard Street. According to the clock in the church tower, the Black Leather Jacket Gang should be coming any minute now. She crossed her fingers and said a little prayer. If all went well, and everybody did their job, there was a better than even chance she could get out of this with only minor injuries. If not ... She didn't even want to go there.

It was like a scene from High Noon. Just as the church clock chimed the last stroke of twelve, five figures dressed in black and wearing black leather jackets rounded the corner and started down the street toward her. They stopped about ten feet away. Her worst fears were confirmed. They all looked at least as tough as the one from the deli. Most looked even meaner, if that were possible. ( Something tells me that this isn't going to bethe piece of cake I thought it was going to be. )She thought.

One of them, obviously the leader stepped forward. "We are here to collect the payment that you foolishly tried to keep my ... associate from collecting yesterday." He said menacingly. "Plus 100 per cent interest. If you try to prevent us from collecting today, I can assure you, the price that all of you will pay will be very high, and not just in money."

Connie stood her ground. "Like I told your flunky yesterday. There will be no more payments. Not now. Not ever." She hoped he could not detect the butterflies that were rampaging through her stomach.

The leader waved his hand and two of the bullies started toward Ultra Girl.

( This is it. This is the moment of no return. )She thought.

Eddie Wong and Tony Nunzio crouched behind parked cars on either side of the street. As the thugs reached a predetermined point right in front of Ultra Girl, they pulled a clothesline laid across the road taunt. The bullies, as expected, tripped over the barrier and lurched headlong for the street. At the same instant that the thugs lost their balance, Ultra Girl brought her fists into each of their stomachs. Hard. The effect was as though she had felled them both.

Two down. Three to go.

Another of the gang members came at her at a dead run. When he was almost to her, she executed an expert cartwheel and her left foot planted a perfect right cross to his chin. He folded like a deflated balloon.

Three down. Two left.

She looked around quickly. One of the other gangsters had somehow managed to become entangled in the lines of Mrs. Periwinkle's flagpole. Mrs. Periwinkle held the ends of the line tightly and grinned proudly at Ultra girl. Abraham Weiss and Father Dominic were taking turns pummeling him with a large smoked salami. The salami had approximately the same consistency as a baseball bat, and the thug bellowed in pain with each blow.

That left only the leader.

"You're very good, I'll give you that, Ultra Girl. You're smart and you're ingenious." The leader drew a gun from his belt and leveled it at her. "But I sincerely doubt that you're bulletproof." He sneered.

Ultra Girl braced herself for the inevitable. She closed her eyes. ( This is it. This is really the end of my fantasy. As well as the end of me. I'm not going to beg or cry. I'm going to go down as a super hero would. )

He fired, but the hit never came. There was a high pitched whine as the bullet struck metal and ricocheted off. When Connie opened her eyes, she saw Leroy Jackson standing on the top rung of a sewer hole, holding the manhole cover in a direct line with her head. He had a wide grin on his face as he gave her the thumbs up sign.

At the same time, Cliff Jackson grabbed the leader with a perfect tackle. The leader was knocked off his feet and went flying through the air. "Call it." Cliff yelled to Guido Nunzio. "Heads or tails."

The first two thugs had recovered, but they had little time to act. Kip Wong had jammed wash buckets over their heads and Jeroz Moskowicz and Maria Nunzio were beating out a lively rhythm on them with wooden spoons.

The wail of police sirens became louder, but by the time the squad cars reached Howard Street, the action was all but over. Thoroughly beaten, the members of the Black Leather Jacket Gang were willingly and eagerly confessing to all that they had done.

Connie started to the alley to get her warm up suit, but Abraham Weiss stopped her.

"Don't go, Miss Drinkwater." He said. "We all want to thank you for what you have done for us."

"You know who I am?"

"David told me all about you. It took great courage to face those men, particularly after you had lost your super powers. We want to show you just how much we appreciate everything that you have done for us. There is going to be a block party tonight to celebrate the end of the Black Leather Jacket Gang, and you are to be the guest of honor. You're our hero."

"No. You're wrong about that. I'm not the hero here. You are."

"But without your support, we could not have done what we did." Kip Wong added.

"Yeah." Cliff Jackson added. "If it weren't for you, we would never have had the nerve to stand up to those thugs."

"We'd still be cowering behind closed and locked doors if it weren't for you." Mrs. Periwinkle said as she hugged her.

0-0-0-0-0-0

Howard Street was decked out in a very festive mood. Miles of streamers and hundreds of Christmas lights festooned every telephone pole and power line. Several improvised tables made from sawhorses and plywood had been set up in the middle of the street and they fairly groaned with all sorts of delicious foods. Kielbasa and Goulash shared space with hearty Italian foods. Chinese and kosher dishes sat side by side. Along with traditional barbecue fare such as hamburgers and hot dogs. There was something on the tables to please nearly every taste, and it had all been lovingly prepared by the residents of Howard Street.

At the far end of the street, a platform had been erected from more sawhorses and plywood, and the kids had formed an impromptu, but very competent band of sorts. Nini was on keyboards. Tony played guitar and Kip wailed on a sax. Leroy was their bass man and David kept the rhythm on drums. They were lustily accompanied by Guido Nunzio on his accordion. Their vocalist was a slightly off key Mrs. Periwinkle. Nobody seemed to mind, though. Everybody was having too good a time. Connie included.

She heard some people clear their throats behind her. She turned and saw Roarke and Tatoo standing behind her.

"There used to be block parties like this one nearly every week during the summer." Roarke said with a large smile. "Now, thanks to you, there will be many more."

"I didn't do much." Connie protested. "They did most of the work. In a way, I'm glad I lost that other vial of Super Potion. If I hadn't, they never would have found the courage to do what needed to be done."

"You mean this?" Roarke held up a vial of the purple liquid.

"The potion! Where did you find it?"

Roarke uncapped the vial and poured it on the ground. "I don't mean to disillusion you my dear, but there is no Super Potion. This is only a small sample of a homemade cough remedy that Mrs. Haskins, my housekeeper makes. It does have remarkable healing powers against the common cold, though."

"Cough syrup? But what about the super powers? The super strength? The super speed? I know I had them. I used them a lot."

"There are strengths and abilities within all of us that can only be described as far beyond normal. Perhaps even super. In times of stress, these abilities frequently come to the surface. I am certain you have heard of cases where seemingly average individuals have performed feats that were almost superhuman in nature. Little children lifting wrecked cars off their injured parents. Or lost hikers walking hundreds of miles to get help, apparently without becoming fatigued. Adrenaline is also an important factor in these examples."

"But I DID have super powers. I know I did."

"Ah yes. The power of suggestion is tremendous. You believed you had super powers, therefore, when you needed them, you did have super powers."

"You mean I wasn't really a super hero?"

"I did not say that. By your own definition, a super hero is one who fights crime, battles the forces of nature, and helps those in need. You did all that … and much more."

Connie thought for a moment. "I guess when you put it that way, I really was a super hero."

"You were more than that. When you battled the Black Leather Jacket Gang, you knew that you did not have any extraordinary powers. You knew you could be killed or severely injured, yet you faced them anyway. That is the mark of a true hero."

0-0-0-0-0-0

The car pulled up to the dock and Connie Drinkwater got out. This was a vastly different Connie Drinkwater from the one who arrived on Fantasy Island only several days before. Gone was the gray skirt and jacket. Instead, she wore a light beige designer pantsuit with a pale coral scoop neck top. Her hair had been cut and carefully styled in the latest fashion. In place of the sensible flats was a pair of low dark beige heels that complimented the suit perfectly. The heavy glasses had been replaced by contact lenses. A blush of makeup completed the change.

Connie went to Roarke and took his outstretched hands. "I want to thank you, Mr. Roarke. You have fulfilled my fantasy and then some. Because of you, I have a much better view of the world … Literally." She ran her hand along her sides. "And of myself as well. I never would have thought of having a makeover like this. This weekend is one that I will never forget. "

"And I must say I heartily approve of your new view. All of it. You look stunning." Roarke said.

"Yeah! I agree." Tatoo added. "You're a real knockout, Miss Drinkwater."

She handed Roarke a large suit box. "I want you to have this. I'm retiring Ultra Girl ... Permanently. Thanks to you, I don't think I'll be needing her any more. She's going to be relegated to the domain of fantasies where she belongs."

She reached up and kissed him gently on the cheek. Then she bent down and kissed Tatoo. The midget blushed deeply.

Another van pulled up and five young people got out.

"Hey!" Connie cried. "Those are the people from Howard Street. What went wrong? Don't tell me that the Black Leather Jacket gang came back? Is that why they're leaving the Island?"

"Oh no, Miss Drinkwater." Tatoo said. "Everything is just fine on Howard Street. They're starting to rebuild, and people are beginning to move back in. I can assure you, the Black Leather Jacket Gang won't be bothering anyone for a very long time. If ever again. The only reason those people are leaving Fantasy Island because their fantasy is over as well."

"Fantasy? Over? I don't understand."

"It's quite simple." Roarke explained. "These five people are members of a comic book collectors club from Braddock Pennsylvania. Their fantasy was to meet a real super hero."

"Braddock? That's just a few miles from East McKeesport. You don't suppose they'd be interested in meeting a librarian who was once a super hero, even if it was only for a weekend."

Roarke smiled broadly. "Why don't you ask them?"

Connie started after the group. "Hey! Wait up! Remember me?"

"We sure do." Tony Nunzio said. "You're Ultra Girl. You're the hero from our fantasy."

"Yeah, Ultra Girl." Leroy added. "It's really great that you came all the way down here to the dock just to see us off."

"Not exactly. You see, this was my fantasy, too. My name really is Connie Drinkwater and I'm from East McKeesport … " Chatting excitedly, Connie and the others boarded the plane.

0-0-0-0-0-0

As the plane disappeared into the clouds, Tatoo tugged on Roarke's sleeve. "Boss. Was that really Mrs. Haskin's cough syrup in those vials that you gave to Miss Drinkwater?"

Roarke held up a bottle of purple liquid. He had an enigmatic smile on his face. The one that Tatoo could never quite decipher. "Now. Tatoo. Do you really think I would do something like that?" He said with perfect innocence.

0-0-0-0-0-0

The end?

Of course not

This IS Fantasy Island, after all