Mrs O'Malley's hands shook slightly as she brought the tray across to the two Privates outside of her home. On the tray stood two China cups, a blue teapot, and a plate of biscuits. 'Would you boys like a cuppa?' She said placing the cup down on the front wall.
'I wouldn't mind, pet,' Private Matthews said, reaching out to help her with the tray.
'Milk, two sugars please.' Private Nicholson said.
'No bother lads, help yourself, please' she said with a smile 'there's plenty more biscuits as well.'
Mrs O'Malley held onto the teapot lid and poured out the tea into a China cup with pansies painted on. Next she lightly held the milk jug and poured the milk into the mix. 'Was that two sugars?' She said.
'Yes please,' Nicholson said 'wouldn't have it any other way' he chuckled to himself and took the teacup. He took a sip, it was milky and sweet. 'Ah - just how I like it, cheers pet.'
Mrs O'Malley smiled and poured another cup of tea for Matthews 'how do you take it dear?' She said.
'Milky, no sugar.' Matthews said.
A group of youngsters, aged between 12 and 15, sulked past the two Privates and glowered at them. 'Fuck off you pricks' the oldest one said, sticking his fingers up at Matthews, 'oppressive bastards.'
'Fascists.' Another one shouted, spitting in their direction.
'Oh, ignore them,' Mrs O'Malley said 'you boys are doing a fine job out here, serving Queen and Country, God bless you both.'
'Thank you, mam' Nicholson said, dunking a biscuit into the tea.
The oldest of the youths threw a stone and it hit Mrs O'Malley's front window. 'Bastards' he said 'Fascist pigs.'
'Watch it son,' Matthews said 'I'll tell your old lady what you've been up to.'
'Do it,' the boy said 'see what I care.'