After my dramatic trauma post earlier, I did the only thing I could under the circumstances.
Took some time away from the story and dyed my hair* bright red.
I've decided not to contact the organisers of the competition to ask them if I can ammend my entry. It's against the rules, it could piss them off, and I don't want that.
Also, and importantly, on re-reading the whole thing as it is now, unexpectedly, it works. So I am letting it go away to do its thing.
*and most of myself, the bathroom, and several towels