Last Saturday, Alice Lucy, 12, set up a lemonade stand on the shady corner of her Northeast Washington street. She didn't sell a drop all afternoon, but Lucy wasn't upset. That was her plan.
"The first thing she did was give away samples so everybody would know what it tasted like," said her mother, Sandra Lucy. "She said people would figure kids wouldn't know how to make good lemonade and if she gave it away first, they'd come back and buy it next week.
"That was Alice through and through. She was a child with plans."
Alice Lucy, a lively seventh grader at Francis Junior High School, was electrocuted Thursday afternoon after she fell across an electrified metal plate outside the Addison Road Metro station in Seat Pleasant.
The suddenness of her death and its freak circumstances left her family and friends numb and disbelieving yesterday. One minute, Lucy and schoolmate Dominique Lee were teasing each other by tossing their shoes around as they waited for a bus to take them to Lee's Forestville home; the next minute, Lucy was lying face down in a puddle, shaking and gasping for breath. She was pronounced dead about an hour later at Prince George's Hospital Center.
"We're in a state of shock around here," said Gary Geiger, principal of Francis Junior High, where Alice was a member of the drama club, the track team and the basketball team. "We're looking at each other and saying, 'This can't happen.' But it did."
As usual, Lucy was full of plans and faced a busy schedule on Thursday afternoon. She had begged her mother to let her spend the night with Lee in preparation for the annual seventh- and eighth-grade outing yesterday to Kings Dominion. On Saturday, she was going to sell lemonade and attend a cousin's birthday party. On Sunday, there were always services at Lincoln Congregational Temple in Northwest Washington. And, the summer would bring two weeks of Girl Scout camp, and Lucy hoped, plenty of chances to sharpen and show off her acting skills.
"Anything that had to do with acting or reciting poems or being in center stage, that child loved," said her mother, a divisional secretary in the Coast Guard's Office of Equal Rights. "She told me when she got to the ninth grade, she wanted to go to the Duke Ellington School. She told me she wanted to get married and have one child and be an actress."
Lucy lived with her divorced mother, her 16-year-old brother and her pit bulldog, Emma, in a two-story yellow house on Franklin Street in Northeast. Yesterday afternoon, the front porch was filled with relatives and friends. Sandra Lucy and her mother, Alice Richards, sat in lawn chairs and talked about the child, sometimes chuckling as they remembered a certain mischievous incident, sometimes pausing to wipe their eyes.
"Whenever we'd go somewhere, she was always pulling at me and saying, 'Ma! Ma! Come on, Ma! You've got to see this,' " Sandra Lucy said.
She recalled the last time she saw her daughter, Thursday morning as Alice was leaving for school. It was a characteristic scene, she said.
"She had her little overnight bag and she hugged me and went down the steps," Sandra Lucy said. "Then she remembered her umbrella and she went back and got it and hugged me again. Then she remembered her watch. She said she had to have her watch because everybody was always asking her the time. She ran and she got that and she hugged me one more time.
"I said, 'Did you hug the dog?' And she hugged Emma and she went running down the steps and that was it."