A cautionary tale

Always read the instructions.

When writing a short story

for a competition;

make sure you know how many words are required.


Never write too many words.

Having a target of 5,000 words,

one should never go above that limit

or you might have your story discounted.


So, when I tried to submit my work

of 1,800 words -all that I felt the short story needed,

the 5,000 words limit was, to my mind,

well heeded.


Oops! Not 5,000 words,

but 5,000 characters!


I spent the next hour

heavily editing my story –

down and down; until, at the last,

4,992 characters,

and that was almost accepted.


A few fewer

and, ‘Hey!’ it fits.


That was the hard part,

now I just have to wait

and see if anybody likes my shortened story.


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