Did one final pass this morning, tightened up the ending some more, came in at around 7800 words. Since 6500 words was minimum, not maximum, I’m fine. (Rechecked the contract this morning).
I’m pleased with the emotional drive of the story, and I like the way the plot pulled together. So now I’ll wait to see whether it passes muster.
Meanwhile, first paying people, and second getting another Crash Test done.