So here's a story idea that could be realistic or surreal: Imagine an island which has come up just to the surface of the ocean. During high tide, it's under water - during low tide, it's a wide stretch of damp sand. And people live on this island. They've anchored their homes into this sand on stilts, and they live on fish and salvage, and their kids swing across ropes from one house to the next.
Now here's the catch: what if the people are only there when the tide is low? What if everything disappears as the tide rises, only to rematerialize as the water recedes? Is is a trick of magic? Or ghosts? Or some kind of trans-dimensional worm hole? Your guess is as good as mine.