While Lady and the gnome slumbered in the garden, dusk quietly blanketed the day. In the veil of time between light and dark, the unattended cauldron bubbled over. Unseen by all, the bubble rider sprites perched atop the bubbles, one to each, and floated away. Three stayed in the garden; two by the gnome and one near the sleeping witch.
The sprites that landed on the gnome’s big nose were nearly sniffed up into his right nostril. In the nick of time they were blown back out, laughing as if in the middle of an arcade game. When one tried to ask the other how he managed to breathe so funny, it came out in such a way that ever after, the gnome would be called “Howie”.
For many nights, and mornings too, the bubble riders visited Howie in his sleep. They explored elsewhere but always returned to his nose, and they always laughed at it. All Howie ever knew was that sometimes he would startle himself into wakefulness with a loud sneeze. If the sun hadn’t risen he would return to dreamland with ease.