By Sofia Fortunato – Seaside Writing guide

“I don’t remember,” she kept saying. “Give me my handbag!” she demanded.

She held it — dark fabric and not too big — and tried to open it but her hands were too shaky.

“Grandma, Do you need help? What do you need?” her grandson asked, worried.

“No!” she snatched, trying to grab the zip.

Who would have thought that those hands were the hands of a once great pianist. She gave up trying. She turned to the side, held her bag and went asleep.

The Grandson came the next day. Golden rays of sun shone through the window.

“Aren’t the bottle brush flowers the most beautiful thing you have ever seen?” she said with a sparkle in her eye like the sun on the sea.

“Yes Grandma, they are. Look, Grandma there is a bird on it.” But she was already looking towards the brick wall the brick wall on the other side of the room.

The Grandson held her cool, wrinkled hands and touched her face softly. “Grandma, you need to tell us where it is.”

“The kookaburras, did you see them?” she said.

“Grandma, there are no kookaburras in this room.”

“Where is my bag?”

“It is next to you, Grandma.”

“There are four kookaburras in there. Would you grab feathers for me, son?”

“GRANDMA! There are no kookaburras in this room!”

She turned to the side, closed her eyes and fell asleep quickly again.

The next day the Grandson came back. “Close the curtains son, I don’t want to see those noisy birds again.”

“Grandma, can I have your handbag please?” The grandson said lightly this time, hoping the same antics were not repeated today.

“My handbag, which handbag? It is by the tree with the paddle. Go this way.”

Tears were in his eyes. Grandma’s words didn’t make sense anymore. He found her handbag on the floor next to the bed. He took it and searched inside.

There was a red lip stick, a brush, and an antique mirror. “Son, would you please turn off the lamp? It hurts my eyes. Tell the kookaburras to stay away from it. They cannot have what is mine,” she said with a gruff.

As before, Grandma turned to the side and asleep she went again.

“Yes Grandma, I will,” he sighed and continued searching inside the handbag. She had a collection of feathers inside a paper bag, there was a ball, for the old fluffy dog. He found two photographs, one of his Grandpa. On the picture, Grandpa held a hose, while watering the lawn. He wore only his blue bathing suit, a hat and sunglasses.

The second photograph was of a tree. On the tree, there were four kookaburras standing on a branch. A paddle rested on the tree with a sign on it saying this way. At the back of the photograph there was a note. The Grandson read it.

“Dear family, I decided to leave the key here, buried under this tree. It was the only way. My memory is fading and soon it will go away. Please keep everything safe for me. With love, Grandma.”

My words: old lady with the dog. Golden rays. Dog with a ball. Bottle brush flowers. Bird. Brick wall. Paddle on the tree. Superficial. Feather. Old guy watering the lawn in his bathing suit. Tree with four kookaburras. Sing “this way.” Lamp.