I just need help with writing my short story, I don't want to make it too long and I don't know if I'm over thinking this. Help?
If it's for an assignment, then the assignment will dictate the length. I would note that 12 pages/5,263 words tells me that you're writing single spaced which is probably not what your assigner wants (I'm guessing this is a class assignment).
In writing for publication, I would note that there has been a steady trend towards shorter pieces. I've frequently updated the copies of the guidelines I keep in my submission spreadsheet for journals and magazines that publish short fiction to lower the maximum word count. I can only think of one publication which increased its word count in the last decade and that was a publication which specialized in very short writing and decided to up its maximum word count from 500 to 1000.
All of that said, a piece should be exactly as long as it needs to be.
Magazines will give you a range for short stories they buy. If this is for a class then your teacher should have given a range in words that s/he considers a short story.
Wikipedia gives this:
- Novel: 40,000 words or over
- Novella: 17,500 to 39,999 words
- Novelette: 7,500 to 17,499 words
- Short story: under 7,500 words
But Wikipedia does not give a minimum, and you can find ranges for even shorter works such as short short, flash fiction, etc.
Some sources will give different ranges than Wikipedia for any category, often depending on genre. For example, YA is usually shorter than an adult mystery, and chapter books would be even smaller than YA for a 'book'.
I would consider what you have as a short story and would worry more about how the story works as a story per se and not worry about word count. You can always cut if you write too much. Adding words is often harder to do so they fit well from an entire story perspective.