Qualm … The Daily Post prompt

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.


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