The surprise attack was unexpected and clearly very well thought out based on the way that it was set up and enacted by the stranger, Mister Surreal might even have been impressed if the plan had not been used as a way to trick him.
While the stranger got a choke hold on the him, Mister Surreal held his hand against theirs to stop them from being able to suffocate him. While he was mildly shocked by what happened, he knew to prepare for such encounters.
But he wasn’t quite sure how to deal with the issue, he had a lot of ways to take care or this foe so he needed to think of the best way of dealing with this situation. He figured it would be more simple if he allowed his partner to do the work for him.
With nothing but a simple mental command, his cloak flew off his shoulders and onto those of the person who stood before him. It wrapped up the attacker in one swift move, freeing the sorcerer from the grip of this person.
By the time that it was finished, the man was wrapped shoulder to feet in nothing but the red and gold fabric that kept him suspended in place, no less than two feet off the ground. Like a boa constrictor around a frog.
Mister Surreal dusted himself off before turning back to his foe, looking rather pleased with his handy article of clothing. “Now that the tables have turned, I would like you to tell m who you are and why you set me up?”
Heathen found the relaxed nature of Mister Surreal to be admirable, considering where he was, and didn't anticipate something tricky out of him. Instead, he was pleasantly caught off-guard by the cloak of all things! How delightful. Heathen hung according to the laws of the ethereal object in question, swaying to its ribboned edges and bending to his own whims but not enough to warrant the tightening of the cloak's latches and locks. The trickster smiled at Mister Surreal, almost nodding his head to how the sorcerer was speaking to him. He was weaving something else behind the scenes, but didn't want to let on.
The tricks of the Smiling Man never ceased, and one could count on any number of them to be right behind the corner.
"My name? It's Heathen, I don't believe in anything anymore. A bloody Heathen! There he goes, walking under God's sun and not thanking Him for it," he sounded absolutely insane, but his sudden mannerisms betrayed annoyance and spite rather than a lack of empathy.
"My name's Heathen, Heathen, Heathen," he repeated. An incantation. Magic was on its way, tendrils of it wrapping around the dark corners of the lamplit street.
"You're here to listen to my jokes, aren't you? You're my only audience member, how sad," he driveled on and on, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. "I wish I could just cut you into pieces and make more of you,"
The faint whisperings of magic finally made themselves noticeable on his breath. The tendrils were just the first part, for any piece of clothing that somehow found itself misplaced from Surreal's person would re-materialize on the ground as a stick figure of sorts - colored in the sorcerer's garb. They would march around in place, singing a soundless song with their nonexistent mouths and lungs.
The Man Who Laughs didn't have an end in mind to his shenanigans, however, and prepared many contingency plans beside. He wanted to keep Surreal here for a while, and play with him more.
"I don't mean to be callous," he spoke in a collected way now, a gentleman of high estate and regard. "But... where are the others? I'm scheduled to go on now, and the crowd is just a bunch of coffins, heheh,"
Laughter beget more shapes in the lingering darkness, more hands to grab at Surreal, more shadows yet to move. More beasts without form.
"Well I guess you could say they're not very lively then, huh?"
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