I'm a great lover and a modest consumer of the short story genre.
But I've precious little experience writing fiction.
A line just popped into my head while listening to music and working problem in mathematics, and this just might be the thing that finally gets me started putting pen to paper:
Delete the people, keep the math and jazz.
It's sort of in the same spirit as the famous "So long, and thanks for all the fish" in that someone is ending our world and commenting on what is or isn't worth saving. It could be that the Earth is being destroyed, or that someone is going to click "exit" on the simulation that we live in.
It also reminds me of (and probably comes from) those immortal words "Leave the gun, take the canoli."
What are good ways to approach organizing my thoughts and collecting the various ways I can see the situation getting here so that I don't loose anything and yet somehow converge on a readable short story?