As a kid I revered the endings of O. Henry stories enough to mimic them, but my bittersweet surprise endings tended to err toward bitter. In my seventh-grade story "Cheers," the heroine downs a bottle of rat poison in the janitor's closet after the principal announces the onset of thermoglobal nuclear war, and only after she is dead does the reader learn that the principal's announcement was just a test of the emergency broadcast system.
In my ninth-grade story "The Wish," a ninth-grader trudges down the street chanting her mantra of negation: "I suck. You suck. Life sucks. I wish I were dead." The young couples in her midst are staring into each other's eyes. Her own eyes, of course, are always cast downward, and for that she is the only one who spots the gleam of a lamp buried in the dirt. She runs through the steps to make the genie appear, and he promises her the requisite three wishes. I don't remember what her first wish is, but I remember that she regrets the first wish and habitually blurts, "I wish I were dead!" And so it is, and the third wish goes ungranted.
My ninth grade teacher made me change "Life sucks" to "I hate life," arguing that "sucks" had obscene connotations that I didn't intend. I argued back that I was pretty sure that there was nothing more obscene than the extent to which life could suck, except for maybe hate, but I wasn't entirely sure about that back then, and I wanted an "A," so I didn't argue too hard.
It wasn't until years later that I realized the hindsight aspect of twist-ending stories -- that the good ones included a lot of clues that make you realize you could have seen it coming all along, even if the characters couldn't. M. Night Shhyamalan movies guided us through that process with heavy-handed recaps. His twists ranged from artful to arbitrary, but the recaps were generally of the same ilk: Look here, and here, and here. You could have seen it coming.
In real life, a brief stint as manager helped me develop an ability to zoom in and out on situations, and my brain's been taking it to my dreams. I've been dreaming in recaps lately.