ROMULUS, New York- – Heroes. You find them in comic books, movies, and at your local fire department. But on Wednesday afternoon the term hero took on a more ambiguous meaning for one small town.

And the people of Romulus, population 2,000, aren’t sure what to make of it.

At approximately 5:07p.m. on Wednesday, Sophie Fiebelkorn, 22, was driving home from her day care job when she approached a red light. Alone, and with no cars behind or in front of her, she applied gentle pressure to her brake. As she did so, Sophie looked to her right and was surprised at what she saw; A group of people aged 6-91 were vehemently holding signs with such slogans as “HONK IF YOU ARE DRUG FREE!” and “IF YOU D.A.R.E. TO NEVER USE DRUGS, HONK NOW!” and “BEEP IF YOU SAY NO TO DRUGS!”. The mob was standing at the curb of the street, mere feet away from Sophie’s vehicle.

“It was very uncomfortable for me because there were so many of them,” said Fiebelkorn in an interview after the incident. “I had to take into account my religious beliefs and commitments before I did something stupid.”

Raised a Roman Catholic, Sophie was referring to her commitment to the 9th Commandment, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”. Commonly translated today as “Thou shalt not lie”.

“I’ve done drugs before,” she admitted shamefully.

Since Sophie’s car was the only one stopped at the red light, she received full attention from the rabid Sign-Holding-Drug-Busters. When she did not immediately utilize her horn in accordance with the demands of their signs, the crowd took action. They began to press their suggestive signs against Sophie’s back windows, as if to say “Honk damn you!”.

She didn’t know what to do.

If Sophie Fiebelkorn were to tell a lie in order to preserve her reputation, the move would shatter one of the most fundamental commitments to her religion; The Ten Commandments. “One hungry looking adult woman, she was probably like 39 or something, scared me into doing the right thing. Her prescence was like more intense than the others because everyone else was chanting the stuff on the signs, but she wasn’t. She just glared at me.”

Within moments the crowd rose to a fever-pitch, pressing for the young day care worker to employ the use of her car horn. Sophie knew she had to decide what to do, and quickly. So she made her move. With a sinful frown of sadness on her face, Sofie removed her hands from the steering wheel and shrugged in response to the signs being held by the mob of children, adults, and elderly. The shrug seemed to say, “I am sorry, but I am not drug free”.

A moment of shock engulfed everyone.

All went silent. Then, as if in punctuation to the scene, the stoplight turned green. Sophie slowly lowered her arms and looked away in shame. Signs peeled away from the back windows as her car lethargically moved on through the stoplight. Within moments, the incident was over as quickly as it had begun.

The crowd, once almost animal in its cause, was now dazed and confused.

“People were honkin’ their horns all day. I don’t know if we were more shocked or disgusted,” said Jonas Thisterthinton, 42.

Sophie, flustered over the debacle, pulled over and immediately called her mother. Worried for her daughters health, Ms. Fiebelkorn called upon the services of the police. Once arriving on the scene officers were confronted by enraged members of the crowd, complaining about the moral damage done to their children by Sophie’s lack of horn beeping.

“Her reaction was despicable. Now my child thinks it is cool to do drugs because of some twisted twenty year old,” said Percy Crump, 34. When her 6 year old daughter, Reno Crump, was asked what Sophie’s lack of a response meant to her, she responded with, “Mommy says the reason Daddy has cancer is because of drugs.”

Helen Knutson, 87, is neighbor to the Fiebelkorns and commented on the event. “Sophie is a bad little girl. Ever since she was a baby she was always bad. Just bad. She would kick my tulips in the summer time. And her mother, having that baby out of wedlock. Just bad. I said so.”

Winston Gilroy, 55, agrees with Crump and Knutson. “Those dirty kid hippies need to get out of our town. Take a damn shower once in awhile.”

When approached with the remarks of Crump, Knutson, and Gilroy, Sophie stated defensively, “I do shower. I shower everyday. Sometimes even twice a day.”

Romulus Town Supervisor, David Kaiser, (a Protestant and anti-drug proponent) refused to comment on the situation.

Not everyone blames Sophie for her choice of action, however. Some of the townspeople even agree with Sophie’s choice. With half of Romulus’s population being Roman Catholic, many view her as a champion of their faith. Most of those who side with Sophie are from St. John’s Church, where she and her mother attend Mass every Sunday.

Father Jeffery Kline, known affectionately by parishioners as ‘Father Jeff’, gave his thoughts on the matter. “Sophie is a hero to our religion. It took great courage for her to do what she did. She followed the Ten Commandments, and that is not always easy for young adults to do. I am proud of her. God is proud of her. She won’t go to Hell for this.”

“I probably would have done the same thing,” 19 year old Stacey May said. “Why are the Ten Commandments written in Old English anyway? Wasn’t Moses Jewish?”

Still, the question remains; Is Sophie Fiebelkorn a sinful influence on young children? Or is she a modern day Saint of the Catholic faith?

Even Sophie isn’t sure.

“I’ve been going to St. John’s for pretty much my entire life, and I take what Father Jeff says very seriously. I couldn’t lie. I just couldn’t. I feel bad about the kids that were there. But I don’t want to go to Hell. I’d like to say I’m sorry to them. ‘Kids . . . I am sorry’. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t do drugs,” she said with tears streaming down her face.

It remains clear that Sophie Fiebelkorn’s official status as a ‘Heroine of the Catholic Faith’ or a ‘Drug Using Child Disruptor’ continues to be up in the air. This being the case, the town of Romulus will feel the effects of Wednesday for days to come.

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