From Miriam-Webster: (definition #2) “a sudden feeling of usually disturbing emotion (such as doubt or fear)”
Ohhhhh, yes, I’ve definitely had a qualm.
About 5 years ago, I totaled my car. It was an unbearably hot day, about 106 degrees, and we were let out of work early for the law firm’s annual attorney golf outing. I stopped at Walmart for a few things: cat food, premixed margaritas, and various other things, then proceeded home, taking my normal way on a frontage road. On rural roads, crews would put tar (or oil?) down, then add gravel on top of that. Don’t ask me why, it’s just done that way. Anyway, I was going 10 miles under the posted 45 mph limit, as the road seemed unstable. I saw, up ahead of me, a mini-van with kids inside. I wanted to make sure I didn’t slide on the gravel into them, but knew if I put on the brakes, I would skid as if on ice. The car wasn’t holding the road, and I knew that I was gonna hit the ditch. A string of “ohfuckohfuckohfuck”‘s “nonononono”‘s and not much else came outta my mouth, and that qualm, that total fear, gripped me like never before in my life. I hit the ditch, all right, but also sheared off a telephone pole, then landed passenger-side down in the grass. I was hanging from the seatbelt when the lady from the mini-van ran up to see if I was hurt. Five men, each in their own pickups, had seen the accident from the highway which ran parallel to the frontage road, and jumped the fence to help. I was trying to pick my way out of the car, the men boosting my driver’s side door up over my head, when I heard … “Lady, just get out, your car is on fire.”
I had a guardian angel watching over me that day. Had no one stopped, I may have burned to death in my car.
I will never forget that qualm.