Alas, the editors didn't find a place for it so the story was returned to me as a "no" because they didn't want to tie the story up indefinitely. As part of the "no" the readers' comments were returned, and they were extremely positive! I won't quote them here but let's just say it certainly made my day.
So now the story must go out again, with some good will behind it. I'm thinking maybe it will become my entry into WOTF for this round. I do like the story, and I think I did a pretty solid job on it. I might take a look and see if there's anything I want to touch up, but overall I think it's ready to go.
And hopefully it will become the spur to get the other stories out into the world as well. Because now I'm down to 6 stories out, and that's too low. Time to get back in the practice again!
But for now it's back to work, because a deadline is hanging over my head. Tonight, though, some writing practice management will ensue. I guarantee it.