What Gives – Story Treatment

A story treatment is the first draft of a screenplay for motion picture, television program, radio shows. It is read like a short story, but are told in the present tense and describes events as they happen.

(This was written eight years ago for my Scriptwriting Class.)


CHANTELLE LI walks down the hallway at Abraham Lincoln Senior High. Her hands piled with textbooks, her backpack at her shoulders. She ambles her way to where her friends stand in their usual positions, in front of the Attendance Office. She hears their giggles and it continues nonstop down the hall as it echoes. She knows what they are giggling about. They always laugh like that whenever they fool or kid around with each other with many surprising jokes. She feels left out and decides to fasten her pace next to them. She smiles and greets them warmly as she arrives, “Hey, guys! What’s up?”

The crowd turns in her direction and stop their hysteric laughter that had once filled the hall. Now, they were in utter silence and stare at her.

Chantelle gives her best friend, LILLIAN TRAN, a nudge on her bicep. She spy her best friend giving her an unusual, uncomfortable smile in return.

“Hey, Chan…” Lillian begins to hesitate, as if remembering not to say something. She gathers her thoughts by biting her bottom lip and looking away from Chantelle, then look down as if she had down something wrong.

Chantelle couldn’t help but stare hard at her best friend with squinty eyes. She, next, glance around her GROUP OF FRIENDS and analyze their expressions. They stare back at her uncomfortably.

“Chan,” Lillian calls out her name, nervous on how to say what she needs to say to her old buddy.

She eyes her best friend, nervous but anxious to what she has to say. “What is it, Lil?”

“Kyle…he…”, she gasp and pause again, having difficulty spitting out the words that’s about to come out of her dried mouth. She takes a deep breath with her eyes close. Her teeth clenches behind closed mouth. She slowly opens her eyes and stares at Chantelle with her hands holding onto her biceps. Tears start to roll down her cheeks as she begins to announce to horrid news. “Kyle, your boyfriend, is dead.”

When she hears Kyle’s name and that he’s dead, she stares at Lillian with bewilderedness. Stun and puzzle, her eyes rolls around not knowing what to make out of it. Lillian still has her grip on Chantelle’s biceps and nervously look at her friend with concern. “Are you okay, Chan?”

Chantelle couldn’t move, couldn’t say a word, or even look at anyone in the eye. She stares at Lillian’s shoes, slowly grasping the news about Kyle. Her hand starts shaking, without realizing she covers her mouth from screaming. She backs away from her friends, Lillian’s hands out of reach, she turns around and runs away down the hall. Tears rolls down her beautiful rosy cheeks, she couldn’t bare standing there another second and let them see her cry.

While running down the empty hallway, she hears eerie noises and stops to glance around. She hears ringing noises in her ears. It tells her that a ghost or so are nearby. The sound stops in her ear and she scans around with her ghost detecting eyes. Her eyes glows. There, she detects a pile of ghosts damaging some electric wires from within the walls.

She freezes and panics, not knowing what to do. She doesn’t have access to her powers until tomorrow. She cannot help them and can neither stop them from damaging school property. She looks around again, this time looking for anything that can stop them. Or anyone. Nobody could be found around her. All her friends are out of sight by now. She stands on another hallway around the corner from her friends. She points her fingers and she glowers at them, “Hey, stop damaging the wires!”

The GHOSTS doesn’t stop. They continue damage the wires, ignoring her even though they could see and hear her very well. Some of them glares back at her and some smirks at her. She begins to feel helpless and vulnerable, in addition to remembering what Lillian just told her. She’s in no mood to be tolerable. The ghosts know who she is. She is the Ghost Detective, Level Five, she isn’t high enough to use her powers to go against them. These ghosts are more powerful than she is and she couldn’t stop them. They continue ignoring her and moves on to their next destination, the bathroom.


THE NEXT MORNING, the Janitor pisses off to see there’s a huge mess to clean up. Pile of water and debris on the tile floors. He went straight to the Principal and complain to him that the students had wrecked the place. He demands that someone should find who the culprit is. Humans, not knowing that ghosts exist, they would claim they are the high schoolers who had done it.

Chantelle needs to go to the bathroom and can’t stand it for another second. So, she walk her way to the only available restroom she could think of, the restroom in the nurse’s office. It was right next to the Principal’s office. She hears news that all the school’s restroom have been annihilated by someone. Though, she doesn’t know whether it was just a coincidence or whether it was all related to the ghosts, she comes across RAYMOND PHUNG. He was one of Kyle’s best friends and her friend. He continues to act weirdly around her, like yesterday, as he approaches her from the opposite side. Ever since the bad news about Kyle’s death, he doesn’t look at her right in the eye.

Raymond has his head down, hands inside his jean pockets. He doesn’t notice her as he continues down the hall until she staunches right in front of him that he finally looks up. He mumbles something to her. She could only make out the words “my fault” at the end.

She once again fall to her sadness, remembering that her boyfriend is no longer with her. She starts to remember that it has been ten years since she has known Kyle. She never could imagine anything would happen to him. She bit her bottom lip, “It’s not your fault. It was an accident. The drunkard should’ve been the one at fault, here. Not you. He’s the one who slammed his car to your car, Raymond.”

She doses off and break off her own sentence. Another image conjure her thoughts as floating images of her father and his death shoots before her. She now lost her father and boyfriend. Yet she’s surviving and living her life without neither of them around to protect her, to love her. She starts to stream out tears from her eyes. Slowly, it rolls down her cheeks, eyes not blinking. And then, she feels a warmness against her skin. Raymond gently wipes her tears away with his hand.


The television news turn on as she wash dishes from her sink with a window in front of her, overseeing the garden that her mom takes care of since she was born. She turns around to the television, hearing her school’s name and quickly stand next to the refrigerator with her auburn-dyed hair. Ten students were injured from an awful accident inside the school while trying to steal a handful of confidential documents. A huge statue crushed on top of them. They were all found bleeding but not seriously injured enough that they could die. While staring at her television set, her green vision eyes lighted involuntarily, signaling that a ghost was at hand during the incident. There, she decides to take her challenge against the ghosts. Later, after school came, she saw empty halls. She uses her ghost senses to locate them. They need to be stopped. They had already hurt ten people.

She steps on the cement floor in front of the Administrative Building that she teleport herself to. She knows the gates were bolt locked and there wasn’t any other way in besides using her teleporting skills. She feels her senses perking up automatically. They are here, somewhere nearby.

She walks up to the doors and open it. They were locked. She looks around. It was late evening and nobody was around. She faces the door and concentrates her mind on the inside and within a blink, she find herself inside the administrative building. She activates her ghost vision by moving her eyes left to right. She twirls around where she stands and finds them behind the statue. She points her finger at them, as if warning them. They didn’t obey. She waves her hand in front of her and a Ghost Liner weapon that shapes like a gun appears. She aims the Ghost Liner at the ghosts, who were jumping around as if celebrating a victory. Immediately, she thinks it has something to do with the ten students’ incident. She growls at them, eyes narrow. She has enough. She needs to take care of business. She doesn’t want anybody to get hurt anymore.

All the ghosts freeze in position when they spot the Ghost Liner, eyes widen. They realize that they were at peak. Danger doesn’t stop them and within seconds they move towards her. But suddenly, she spots one of them halt and open his mouth to speak.

The ghost speaks some kind of language she’s unfamiliar with. She upsets over the fact she couldn’t understand. Even though she’s level five, she isn’t at the level to comprehend ghost language yet. She pours cold sweat, nervous and anxious, trying to think fast on what to do.

Nobody knows she’s a ghost detective. Nobody cold help her then. She hides the fact that she is one from her friends. Not even her best friend, Lillian knows. She brightens up like a light bulb above her head. She thinks that her ghost mentor could help her. She then rethinks about it, considering the fact she hasn’t participate any of his sessions and skipping practice shames her to the core. Shame and guilt overpowers her. She thinks to herself, would he be furious with her ditching classes and practice sessions? Could she explain her crisis that she had lost her boyfriend and needed his assistant very badly?

She anticipates that thought and then freezes, not daring to think any farther.

She doesn’t move until she finally picks up her courage to face her Ghost Academy teacher, Mr. Beethoven, and take her chances of getting yelled at or be punished for ditching. She lightly nudges her head and she glows with magnificent light. Then, within a blink, she vanishes into thin air.

Within seconds, she arrives in front of her Ghost Academy classroom and discovers a note saying that Mr. Beethoven went on a secret mission and wouldn’t be back until three days later. She stretches her worries with disappointment and teleports back home.

Now, what should she do? Her graduation class would be all in trouble without realizing it. She must figure out a way to translate what the ghost said to her. It could be serious, something important or it could just be gibberish. And she doesn’t want to take any chances.

 Mr. BEETHOVEN carry himself to his mission and locates his target, a new ghost in their realm, KYLE JUN LO, who happens to be his disciple’s boyfriend. He latches his ghost catcher that looks like a dream catcher and aims it towards Kyle. He catches him with no trouble. He accidentally smirks in victory.

“What the…” the ghost exclaims. He tries to claw his way out but find himself with no luck to break the seal of the catcher. “What are you doing? Let me out!” He eyes Mr. Beethoven,  not with anticipated anger but more of confusion. “Who are you? Actually, on second thought, where am I?”

Mr. Beethoven figures that the ghost still is unaware that he’s no longer human and that he’s now a ghost. He lowers his eyes and heaves a sigh. “I’m sorry, but you’re dead. And I am supposed to catch you since you’re wandering around in prohibited places.”

Kyle looks startled, in disbelief. “What? I’m not dead. You’re lying.” He throws a fist at him but misses. Mr. Beethoven flashes to his right, dodging from his attack. He waves his hand at Kyle and instantly he remains calm.

“That’s better,” Mr. Beethoven reliefs. “Now, let me try to explain more clearer…”

It ha been twenty four hours since he discovered he’s a dead and gave him a reincarnation date. With some time spared, he uses his ghost powers and submits clues to his girlfriend, Chantelle to let her know where he is.

Chantelle receives the clues and gathers the information she needs. She transports where the ghosts were and confronts them once again by speaking in ghost language that her mentor taught her just now.

Constructing the conversation into the language she understands, she convinces them that she would help them get them justice. She climbs her way to the Metro Bus station to the library.

After arriving at the library, she asks the librarian if she could kindly look at the property information of the Abraham Lincoln Senior High before it was built. She copies the information by hand because she didn’t have enough money with her. After what seems to be like five hours of writing, she comes upon Raymond and laughs at her.

“What are you doing,” Raymond asks. “Couldn’t you just use the xerox machine?”

“I didn’t bring enough money,” Chantelle explains. “But lucky me, I bought pen and paper. So…”

He chuckles again, “Well, aren’t you lucky that I am here to help you?”

They went to the copier machine and makes copies of the information.

She realizes that the ghosts aren’t ordinary ghosts. They contributes hatred upon years that end with the number six. They had died in the year 1966 and couldn’t be stopped because their long years as a ghost. Their powers increases so much that Chantelle fears that she cannot defeat them.

“I must help them claim back their property,” she said. “If I don’t, they wouldn’t even want to listen to me.”

Within days, she helps them claim their property. She went to visit them again at school but with no luck. They will not listen even though she claimed their property back. When they realizes what she has done, they rage in more anger and vengeance. They use their powers and zaps her back to her own home. The voice echoes in her room. “If you dare to stop us again, your school will be in grave danger.”

She trembles with fear that she almost lost consciousness as she leans herself against her drawer that’s in front of her. She slams down her shoulders and cries, “No one’s going to help me. The school’s going to be in great danger because of me. What should I do?”

She brightens up as an idea filters her mind. She teleports back to where the ghosts are at. “I don’t care what you said. All I know is that you aren’t going to harm any one of us.”

She rotates her hand at the side of her thigh. It magically glows bigger and bigger. It was her powers coming to light.


 Chantelle swings her arm horizontally across. Her beam of magic turns to an arc and flies across to where the ghosts stand. They each grab the beam with their claws. They claw it inward as if sucking her magical beam. Their threats have disappear, for now. They cannot harm them anymore that they sucked her magical beam. The head of the ghost, a well looking fine man, gives his evil laugh. “You think you could stop us with your puny little magic? You can never defeat us, little girl. Go home and just play with your dolls.”

Chantelle gets even more furious, thinking madly to herself,  “You cannot mock me, you heard me?”

She clenches her fist. It makes a soft cracking sound. Without warning, the handsome ghost leaps into the thin air and fires his magnificent laser at her. It strikes across her left shoulder, missing her. Her left sleeve tears apart with a ripping sound. She wraps her right hand over her left bicep where she was stroke. “You jerk! That was a gift from my boyfriend on Christmas last year! You’ll pay for that!”

The ghosts reveals their shocking expression when she reaches her hand to the back from above her shoulders and pulls out a bow. With her other hand, she pulls out an arrow through the side. The ghosts laughs with no worries, as if it’s a joke all along.

“What are you laughing at?” Chantelle knows that the most powerful bow is in her hands right now. She can just make one strike and they will all be all gone for good, but somehow there’s something strange. This strangeness is telling her it’s not going to be that easy. She closes her eyes and concentrates on her inner most powerful energy. Her energy flows to the tips of her body, she was on fire. The fire could destroy anything but human beings. Because she is only half human, she is not at risk and her position as a Ghost Detective gives her more advantage to use it. Ready to take action, she pulls the string of the bow behind her ear and releases it. The arrow flies with flaming red fire with such rapid speed that not even the ghost detective, herself, could see. It went through the handsome ghost and without knowing, the red segment appears through all the ghosts. In a count of three, they all explode like a time bomb. The school property still in mint condition, untouched.

She’s grateful that she got rid of the ghosts once and for all. They could no longer destroy her school and the last ghost no longer breath the same air as her on planet earth. They vanish into thin air around her. She smiles on her victorious defeat against the relentless ghosts, but realizes she must start going to training if she wants to become stronger.

She figures she must go to training no matter how tight and busy her schedule is and how much she hates it, going to training is worth the time. She would never know when she would need her special skills again to solve or defeat another ghost. She went to training during her last year and works twice as hard to become the youngest senior ghost detective (Level 90), graduates from high school, and gets acceptance to a private university with high honors and scholarships that could last her until she gets her first bachelors.