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Which one will be indexed in Google? Since it is set as a temporary redirect, it should use the nice simple URL, correct?
If not, what would be the best way to have the user-friendly URL get picked up? I'd prefer to avoid making separate pages for each one since there are a large number of categories involved.
> Since it is set as a temporary redirect, it should use the nice simple URL, correct?
Yes, it should with a 302. But I agree with xlcus: use an internal redirect instead. I'd also add the [L] flag unless there is a good reason not to:
RewriteRule ^short/url$ /location/of/page.php [L]