There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
The knife had a handle of polished black bone, and a blade finer and sharper than any razor. If it sliced you, you might not even know you had been cut, not immediately.
The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Copyright 2008
Witches’ brooms don’t last forever. They grow old, and even the best of them, one day, lose the power of flight.
Fortunately, this does not happen in an instant. A witch can feel the strength slowly leaving her broom. The sudden burst of energy that once carried her quickly into the sky become weak. Long and longer running starts are needed for takeoff. Speedy brooms that, in their youth, outraced hawks are passed by slow flying geese. When these things happen, a witch knows it’s time to put her old broom aside and have a new one made.
On very rare occasions, however, a broom can lose its power without warning, and fall, with its passenger, to the earth below…which is just what happened one cold autumn night many years ago.
–The Widow’s Broomby Chris Van Allsburg