I read a few of the New Voices entries and I want to highlight something.
The reader wants the story to be happening now. The writer might need to know the set up, but does the reader? Back story kills the movement of a story and deflates tension.
I love the Donald Maass exercise which says highlight all the back story in the first three chapters and move it to chapter 15, certainly beyond the halfway point.
Reread the first three chapters, what does the reader need to know to make sense of the story? What must be there? Put in as little as possible.
You want hints. You want the characters to have secrets. You want the characters to be involved in the NOW. Save the back story for the confession time. Allow the characters to have secrets and to have something to confess. When the reader is emotionally invested in the story, then the explanation will be far more heart rendering.
Start with dialogue.
Start with action.
Keep the Back story a minimum.
The reader needs less than you think.
And yes I have suffered from this before!
This is also directed at me as I write this short story. 10k is not long and every word has to count...and other things are more than detailed explanations/set up.