I've managed to shave about a thousand words off the current draft, down to 21k. Man, that is hard work: I spent an hour reworking and refactoring one section, only to save ten words when all was said and done. I think I've identified a subplot that can be dropped, though: my protagonist sets a trap for his quarry through the use of a light sensor, but in retrospect all that does is further highlight a red herring. In a novel, that would be good. In a short work, I don't need it. Maybe I'll be able to reuse that one later.
Still, that won't save me a thousand words. Something must be done. I could potentially get rid of the entire subplot of the flask, but that makes me uneasy -- I'll produce a draft without it, maybe, and see how it reads. (Besides, this lets me try out some of the more unusual features of Scrivener, which has so far proved to be an excellent tool.)